Union Budget 2022: Towards a Greener Economy
“India will take its non-fossil energy capacity to 500 GW by 2030. Second, India will meet 50 per cent of its energy requirements from renewable energy by 2030. Third, India will reduce the total projected carbon emissions by one billion tonnes by 2030. Fourth, by 2030, India will reduce the carbon intensity of its economy to less than 45 per cent. And fifth - by 2070, India will achieve the target of net-zero emissions.”
- Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India
Deriving inspiration from the prime minister’s words and making this vision come true, the 2022 Union Budget further pushed the trend of making India’s public expenditure increasingly greener, with a slew of measures focused on green energy, renewables, and electric vehicles.
For its ambitious clean energy financing needs, the 2022 Union Budget unveiled Sovereign Green Bonds which will be deployed towards installing 500 Gigawatts (GW) of non-fossil fuel power by 2030. The PLI Scheme for high-efficiency solar cell manufacturing seeks to bolster India’s domestic solar cell industry, and India’s extensive coal reserves will be greened by the use of coal gasification and coal to chemical plants--both of which find a mention in the 2022 Union Budget.
In a similar vein, a battery swapping policy has been announced that emphasises interoperability. A number of 'No Fossil Fuel' areas for India’s urban centres are also on the cards. Similar incentives have been provided for setting up charging stations in India, and building on preexisting measures for EV manufacturers and charging providers. Furthermore, the government has made it mandatory for a small percentage of biomass pellets to be co-fired in thermal power plants which will reduce air pollution caused by stubble burning. Provisions for private forestry and agroforestry point towards a liberalising commercial forestry regulatory scheme. Overall, the 2022 Union Budget balances practical considerations with access to clean technology and a strong push towards sustainability.