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Indias decision to Pump Funds into the Energy Sector to Benefit the IT Industry

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DQI Bureau
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India plans to spend $2.3 tn to boost its energy sector by 2030. It will help in improving the energy efficiency. Using clean technology will help Asias third largest economy balance its growth and environmental aims. This move bears essential importance as the nation is ranked as the worlds third worst carbon emitter. Shifting to a greener economy is imperatively the much needed move of the hour.

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Considering this high aim, India will be required to continue its dependence on cheaper fossil fuel to ensure that electricity can reach the homes of more than 1 bn citizens whose existence is devoid of the benefits of power. This is important to understand as relying on conventional energy alone would be unsustainable resulting in depletion of reserves and increasing costs.

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At a recent Reuters Global Climate and Alternative Energy Summit, BK Chaturvedi, a member of the Planning Commissionthat plays a pivotal role in chalking out Indias growth pathsays, We should chart out the spendings in the form of a 2-pronged strategy. First would be to improve energy efficiency and the second would be to change the mix of the energy which we consume.

The amount, $2.3 tn, which will be spent on the development of the energy sector would also increase the importance of green sources of energy such as solar, wind, and nuclear power. The thrust for efficiency would be mainly on power, transport and industry among a slew of energy-intensive sectors. The government has already set up a panel on transport sector efficiency which is expected to submit its report soon.

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A huge amount would be spent on improving energy efficiency and the composition of energy, while the remaining figure would be utilized for improving energy consumption. But, this gigantic figure would have to be borne by the economy, says Chaturvedi.

Last year, India set a goal for decreasing its emissions with the aim to control its carbon intensitythe amount of carbon dioxide emitted per unit of GDPby 20-25% by 2020 as compared to the levels recorded in 2005.

Role of IT

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IT companies can also contribute individually in small ways to make a difference. Highlighting these efforts, Kishore Butani, founder, www.carbonyatra.com says, IT companies can begin by reducing their energy consumption at data centers, and invest in second-hand and already commissioned windmills across India so that they have a zero power bill. Finally, they can offset all carbon emissionseither facility or office-widevia carbon offsets and showcase their carbon neutral status to customers.

Any investment in green and clean energy is definitely worth it. Wind is fairly mature in terms of market share, but there is a need for a cheaper option like solar energy. A very keen focus on fuel cell technology is required. This highlights the fact that on a larger scale, it has created opportunities galore for the IT sector. The IT industry can see a demand for new softwares and services which track and manage company emissions in compliance with the regulations. Research has indicated that there could be a possible increase in the demand for energy efficient buildings, infrastructure and energy grids. There could also be a possible increased demand for energy efficient consumer products.

So, be it green or energy, IT stands to benefit all along.

Shilpa Shanbhag

shilpas@cybermedia.co.in

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