The energy which is produced through the process that does not emit greenhouse gases or any other pollutants and is also generated from renewable sources like solar energy, wind energy, and hydro energy, is said to be Clean Energy. Clean Energy can help reduce our continued reliance on fossil fuels and can also help to reduce climate change. Clean energy does not pollute the environment and its atmosphere. Solar energy uses the heat of the sun to produce clean and environment-friendly energy, while Wind energy uses the power of the wind to turn and rotate huge turbines to create clean environment-friendly energy through the motion of the turbines which produces electricity for everyone. Hydro energy which is also known as hydropower uses the power of water from the tides or various rivers to produce electricity. Problems that generally the supporters of clean energy face, is the lack of supporting infrastructure.
National Clean Energy and Environment Fund (NCEEF)
For promoting clean, environment-friendly energy and for taking initiatives for clean energy, a finance bill has been passed to support the environment, known as the National Clean Energy Fund (NCEF). This came into power for promoting a clean healthy environment which later got renamed as the National Clean Energy and Environment Fund (NCEEF). This National Clean Energy Fund was created to take measures for the climatic changes that are frequently taking place in India. India is a place where the collection and usage of coal are massive which people and workers in India handle in a very unhealthy way. In 2017, the production rate of coal in India was 600 million tonnes with additional imports that brought it to more than 200 million tonnes. To focus on keeping the environment clean, the Clean Energy Cess on Coal got renamed to Clean Environment Cess in 2017. The Ministry of Finance made it very clear that the funds which will be created will only be used for the research purposes and also for taking up innovative projects that come under the technologies for clean energy. This fund includes projects like environmental management, clean fossil energy, finding proper geographical areas, and projects that come under the National mission and National Action plan on climatic changes. These funds will be used to gain knowledge about climate change and how to mitigate it.
Production of Coal
The tax collected is Rs. 50 per tonne which is accumulated and diverted towards the clean energy project of coal that is manufactured and imported to various other countries. The tax collected by the central government increased to Rs. 100 per tonne of coal in the year 2014 which again got amplified to Rs. 400 per tonne in the year 2016. Due to this increase in the price of coal production, the funding also increased. But the implementation or utilization of the fund for clean energy is very low. Since the year 2010, the total tax amount which was collected was Rs. 54,337 crore, out of which only half has been given to the National Clean Energy Fund. But, only 16% of the funds have been utilized in financing the projects.
Cost of the Coal
It was asked to the Coal miners to pay 30% of the acquired royalty on the minerals which will be later given to the District mineral foundation. A total of Rs.5800 crores have been raised under the foundation in the past three years. The Utmost amount mostly comes from the coal-mining district of the country. Since the year 2017, most of the amount that is allotted to the District Mineral Foundation is used for constructing bridges and roads.
How is the Fund getting used?
Initially, the funds were generated and designed to support clean energy initiatives where, the water-intensive ways are embraced to transfer coal into natural gas, which comes under the National Action Plan on climatic changes.
- Rs. 8,447 crores was granted to the National Clean Energy Fund for the benefit of the Environment.
- Rs. 2,250 crores was granted to the Namami Ganges plan for cleaning and rejuvenating the river Ganga.
- Rs. 1,000 crores was granted to the Ministry of Water Resources, the Ganga Rejuvenation Project, and also to various other River development projects to keep the environment safe, clean and healthy.
- Rs. 400 crore was granted to the Tiger support projects and Elephant support projects because the mining of coal continues in some of the critical areas of wildlife.
- The coal tax will be used to repay the loss of the State Government in their profit creation, which happens as a result of Service and Goods Tax.
The National Clean Energy and Environmental Fund (NCEEF) will be allotted to various projects relating to innovative procedures to embrace Research & Development and Clean Energy Technology. These are the basic requirements to avail the fund from the Government of India:
- To get funds, a certain project should be sponsored by a Ministry or any of the Department of the Government of India.
- A project has to be submitted by an individual or by any association or organization in the public/ Government sector in the form of a loan to get approved to get funds.
- The organizations who are participating should be funding themselves with a minimum of 40% of the total cost of the project.
- The fund which will come from the Government under the National Clean Energy Fund should also be not exceeding above 40% of the cost of the project.
- The proposal for the project loan should be submitted to the Ministry Concerned which will later be forwarded to the National Clean Energy and Environmental Fund after further scrutiny.
- All projects which are proposed should be following Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) to get approved.
- There should be proper project management that provides a suitable mechanism for accountability of the funds.
To get approved, the projects should take care of 40% of their funding and the rest will be funded by National Clean energy. A project like this can send their respective proposals to get approved where only personal money should be raised as a fund for the proposed project.
The massive change in the climate that is frequently happening in the country is risking the water, land, and forest areas of Indian districts and cities. This sort of important information should be made obtainable to the affected communities, private and civil sectors. Projects that are going to or getting funded should be known, and the way for the grants should be made properly clear.
India is a developing country, and it also deserves all the environment cleaning and climatic balancing funding. To save itself from destruction by nature, the country has to learn how to respect nature and climate while it is developing. India has to take mandatory steps to use its funds in an efficient way to save the environment and make it free from pollution as much as possible to help every living being survive on the planet. Not maintaining and exhausting natural resources can obliterate the existence of life on earth. Not only India, everyone should consider it their duty to conserve and protect the environment. With the recent climate changes, the Government of India should keep a check on the projects it is funding and should also propose fundamental norms for preserving the environment and eradicate pollution.