Monthly Non-Fossil Fuels News Commentary: August – September 2017
The upward trend in imported PV module prices is likely to affect viability of recently awarded solar projects, rating agency ICRA said. The imported PV module price has been rising over the last 3-4 months, up by about 15 percent, to 35-37 cents per watt in August, from about 30-32 cents in May, ICRA said. ICRA also flagged risk of delays along with cost overruns due to disruption in delivery schedule and dishonouring of price terms agreed earlier by Chinese (original equipment manufacturers) OEMs to Indian independent power producers (IPPs). According to ICRA estimates, a 6 cent per watt jump in PV module price will result in an increase of about 11 percent in capital cost and decline in project internal rate of return (IRR).
Chinese solar modules are seeing a hardening of prices for the first time in years, with the average selling price (ASP) going up in India on a quarterly basis, Mercom India said. According to the clean energy communications and consulting firm, this has posed a significant challenge to India’s solar industry. Developers not just in India, but across the world have been modelling their auction bidding strategies based on the assumed perpetual decline of Chinese module prices. The uptick in price has come after a decline of nearly 5 percent in the second quarter of 2017. Short-term fluctuations do not usually make a huge difference, the firm acknowledged, but cautioned that if module prices continue to rise or even stay flat for a couple of quarters, it will start hurting developers who cannot wait indefinitely to procure the lowest priced panel. High Chinese demand generally firmed up module prices in June before feed-in tariff deadline at the end of the month, it said.
India’s MNRE has issued an order for new set of standard specifications for solar PV modules which will come into force after one year from the date of their notification. As per the order, under the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) Act of 1986, any manufacturer who manufactures, stores for sale, sells or distributes solar photovoltaics systems, devices or components will make an application to the bureau for obtaining registration for use of the ‘standard mark’ in respect of the Indian standard.
The domestic solar industry has broadly welcomed the new standards for solar PV modules announced by the government calling it as a positive step to ensure upgradation of quality. The new standards would help significantly in improving the quality of modules manufactured in the country, according to experts. While it is a good step for retail and rural customers who are usually unaware of the quality of the modules they are purchasing, the notification should not become a trade barrier for modules which were already meeting the international standards. New standards issued by the government are at par with the global standards. There could be some cost escalation initially for new solar installations but it will eventually be beneficial as Operational & Maintenance (O&M) costs of solar installations will reduce significantly due to better quality of modules.
Central Delhi could soon be generating up to 20 MW of power on the rooftops. The EESL, a union ministry of power venture, has signed a MoU with the NDMC to install 65,000 solar modules on major buildings located in the areas under the civic body’s jurisdiction. EESL is currently carrying out a field study to assess roof-top solar power generation potential of various institutions before beginning the work of installing the required infrastructure. Based on the findings, the owners of the buildings will be asked to choose between two models. The capital expenditure model will involve the building owners putting in the money and EESL supplying, designing, installing and commissioning the solar set-up. Under the other model, the operational expenditure one, the entire burden, including financing, will be borne by EESL. The buildings that finance the installation of the solar photovoltaic panels will be allowed free use of the power generated, according to the MoU signed by EESL with NDMC. In the second model, where building owners depend on EESL to finance and erect the generation system, the users will be billed a lower power charge of ₹ 3.87/kWh for the use of the energy generated. The company said that EESL would invest ₹ 1.15 billion for rooftop project. Government buildings and private institutions earmarked for the project include Andhra Bhawan, Chhattisgarh Bhawan, Gujarat Bhawan, Hyderabad House, Nirman Bhawan, Maharashtra Bhawan, Mizoram Bhawan and Jeevan Bharti Building. EESL expects to finish the work by the end of the year. The rooftop panels are expected to have a cumulative capacity for 20 MW of solar power, or an annual 30 million units of power.
As per reports poor quality Chinese solar modules, rejected by developers, are being sold in the domestic market at a discount. With their project deadlines approaching, some Indian developers have taken recourse to this route to meet cost pressures and timelines. Modules account for nearly 60% of a solar power project’s total cost. With the average efficiency of a solar panel usually only 16-22%, any sub-standard quality will impact generation. India is also conducting an anti-dumping investigation on solar equipment from China, Taiwan and Malaysia. Major Chinese solar module manufacturers include Trina Solar Ltd, Jinko Solar, JA Solar Holdings, ET Solar, Chint Solar and GCL-Poly Energy Holdings Ltd. Experts said that the quality of imported modules in India has always been suspect.
Experts said air pollution is diminishing India’s capacity to harness power from the sun, undermining billions being invested in renewables as the energy-hungry giant emerges as a solar superpower. New research has found the smog and dust that sickens millions across India every year is also sapping solar power generation by more than 25 percent, far beyond levels previously thought. In the first study of its kind, US and Indian scientists measured how manmade particles floating in the air and deposited as grime on solar panels combined to seriously impair sunlight from converting to energy. This interference causes steep drops in power generation, they found. At present levels in India, it could amount to roughly 3,900 MW of lost energy, six times the capacity of its largest solar farm, a gigantic field of 2.5 million panels. India, the world’s third-largest polluter, is banking on solar to electrify homes for hundreds of millions of its poorest citizens without adding to its sizeable carbon footprint. At the Paris climate summit in 2015, India pledged cuts to its future emissions and vowed to source at least 40 percent of its energy from renewables by 2030, a target it is well on track to exceed. Dust has long been a menace for solar projects in desert states like Rajasthan and Gujarat, where robotic wipers are deployed to ensure panels are cleaned after sandstorms. But the new research confirmed what solar installers had long suspected that choking smog from cars, coal plants, crop burning and trash fires was particularly adept at bleeding energy.
India has barred state authorities from unilaterally cancelling or modifying solar PPAs after six state governments in last two months pushed developers to lower tariffs, threatening to derail projects worth $7.5 billion. The capacity has already more than tripled in three years to more than 12 GW. The government said it will impose a minimum penalty of 50 percent of the tariff if the purchase agreement is arbitrarily scrapped by the state or the developer. Over the last four months, debt-laden power distribution companies in Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Jharkhand were pushing developers to renegotiate signed or previously agreed upon PPAs, risking closure of 7 GW of solar projects, a report from ratings agency CRISIL noted. Indian states and developers had clashed in May after the solar tariff for the 500 MW Bhadla solar power park in the western state of Rajasthan slumped to a record low of ₹ 2.44/kWh for 200 MW. However, the southern state of Andhra Pradesh, which accounts for the highest number of solar projects in the country, is not looking to sign new PPAs in the near term.
The MNRE said its guidelines for tariff-based bidding for procuring solar power would reduce risk, enhance transparency and increase affordability. The MNRE had issued the new guidelines for tariff based competitive bidding process on August 3. The guidelines have been issued under the provisions of Section 63 of the Electricity Act, 2003 for long term procurement from grid-connected Solar PV Power Projects of 5 MW and above, through competitive bidding. Besides, it said, the move will help protect consumer interests through affordable power. It will also provide standardisation and uniformity in processes and a risk-sharing framework between various stakeholders involved in the solar PV power procurement, it said.
The government has implemented new rules for buying power from grid-linked solar power projects through competitive bidding under the National Solar Mission to improve transparency and standardise auctions. These guidelines, prepared by the MNRE, cover the grid-connected PV power projects with a size of 5 MW and above. The norms provide that the minimum PPA tenure will be 25 years that will help ensure lower tariffs. Besides, unilateral termination or amendment of PPA is not allowed. The new framework also contains provision for force majeure. Now, the PPA would have provisions with regard to force majeure definitions, exclusions, applicability and available relief as per the industry standards.
A June order by the power ministry on inter-state electricity transmission charges could affect DMRC’s plan to buy power from one of the world’s largest solar power project at a single site in Madhya Pradesh, forcing both DMRC and the state government to seek relief from the ministry of new and renewable energy. DMRC may have to bear an additional ₹ 0.91/kWh cost due to inter-state transmission charges and losses from the marque project, thereby increasing the tariff from ₹ 3.30/kWh to ₹ 4.21/kWh from the 750 MW plant at Rewa, Madhya Pradesh. The 14 June order of the power ministry limits the waiver of inter-state electricity transmission charges to discoms meeting their renewable purchase obligations. Since DMRC is not a discom, it will have to pay this additional tariff referred to as the Inter-State Transmission System (ISTS) charges. The PPAs for the project were inked on 17 April. The record low-winning bids of ₹ 2.97/kWh at Rewa in February marked a turning point for India’s solar power sector with the delivered cost of electricity to DMRC being ₹ 3.30/kWh. The Rewa project is also India’s first solar project to conduct inter-state sale of electricity with its PPA accepted by the union government as a standard model to help achieve lowest electricity tariff rates through competitive bidding.
The Tamil Nadu Electricity Generation and Distribution Corp (TANGEDCO) has created a record in selling wind power to other states for 2017. The power utility has so far sold 11.938 million units to various states and has also earned a few millions of rupees from the sale. Apart from selling wind power to other states, Tamil Nadu has also evacuated the maximum amount of renewable energy from wind this year. On an average, nearly 3500 MW to 4000 MW of wind power was used by the distribution company to distribute power. Wind power is generally available from evening to early morning. According to Electricity Act 2003, each state has to meet a percentage of power generated there annually through renewable power like wind and solar.
The MNRE signed an agreement on technical cooperation under the “Indo-German Energy Programme Green Energy Corridors (IGEN-GEC)” with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ). The two countries began collaboration on the Green Energy Corridors in 2013 following Indo-German Consultations held in Berlin. The MNRE is in the process of implementing the first phase of the Green Energy Corridor. Germany has been supporting India in achieving its goal for sustainable development through bilateral cooperation for almost six decade now.
International Water Management Institute (IWMI) managed to fund a pilot project with a view to promote the use of solar power for irrigation purposes. The project which was initiated in Dhundi village in Anand district some two years ago, with a team of six farmers has now managed to generate 100,000 kWh of power, some 45% of which they use for irrigation purposes. The six farmers formed a cooperative and later adopted using of solar irrigation pump, as part of the project. According to IWMI, the pumps have a unique capability to pool and inject surplus solar power to electricity grid, and therefore, farmers earn ₹ 4.63/kWh. The connection of the pumps to state electricity grid has therefore proven to be a major incentive for the farmers. Till date, these pumps have generated nearly 100,000 kWh of green energy of which 43,897 kWh was used for irrigation. Therefore, the cooperative injected more than 52,000 kWh of green energy into the grid and generated an income of around ₹ 400,000 from sale of surplus solar power.
RIL is considering entering the power-storage business with its partner BP Plc to expand into the country’s growing renewable energy sector. The companies are considering a plan to set up energy-storage projects near solar- and wind-energy installations. A decision on investment and implementation will be taken by December. The push into power storage dovetails with efforts to boost the country’s reliance on renewable power and set it on track to sell only electric cars by 2030. Global oil majors such as Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Total SA and Exxon Mobil Corp are investing in new-energy technologies to improve electricity grids and develop fuels from renewable resources. RIL has been seeking to enter the business since 2009, when it first announced plans for alternative-energy businesses. RIL and BP in June said they were extending their partnership to sell conventional fuels as well as explore opportunities in clean energy. RIL is planning to sell liquefied natural gas at its fuel-retailing outlets and set up charging stations for electric vehicles. LNG and electric-vehicle charging would be an extension of RIL’s current retail fuel business, though the company hasn’t firmed up a business plan as the market is at a nascent stage. India’s solar-power capacity has surged fourfold since December 2014 to about 13 GW. Wind installations reached almost 33 GW from 22.5 GW over the same period.
A Fitch Group Company BMI Research revised upward the non-hydro renewable energy capacity in India to 155 GW from 130 GW by 2026 on the back of higher than expected solar installation and successful wind auctions. Positive developments in the renewables sector over the last six months, specifically in the wind and solar segments, have led us to upwardly revise our non-hydro renewables capacity forecasts, it said. The BMI Research expects wind capacity to total 35.5 GW by end 2017, up from its previous estimate of just over 31 GW. By 2026, it forecasts the Indian wind capacity to reach 68 GW, a revision from its previous forecast of nearly 54 GW. It has revised its solar forecasts upwards, with solar capacity totalling 19.2 GW by end 2017 and 71.5 GW by 2026. This is from a previous 17 GW and 64.7 GW previously, over the same time period.
Overemphasis on renewable energy would result in reducing viability of coal-fired thermal power plants in India, adding to the massive NPAs of state-run lenders, Chief Economic Adviser (CEA) Arvind Subramanian said. The declining viability of thermal power plants and the rising NPAs of state-run banks, which have lent to power companies “seems a double whammy for the government,” he said. For India, which is struggling to provide basic electricity to about 25 percent of its population, coal will provide about 60 percent of the country’s power needs until 2030, he said. India’s total renewable generation capacity has crossed 57 GW, with an increase of 24.5 percent being registered in the last fiscal year. The capacity addition in solar energy last year stood at 81 percent.
The Centre is set to finalise the creation of a ₹ 160 billion hydropower development fund to revive stalled projects in the country. The power ministry was bringing out the policy to revive the sector that has gone “sluggish”. The policy would include a proposal for considering hydropower as renewable energy, he said.
The CERC did not approve the proposal of the IEX to introduce spot trading of renewable energy on its platform. While the IEX expected the mechanism to provide more options to fulfil RPOs of discoms, encourage new capacity addition and address the uncertainties around signing of long term PPAs and cost recovery issues for renewable energy players, CERC felt that the current market condition is not yet ready for the product. The proposed G-DAM was based on the existing framework in regular day-ahead-market, which is also known as spot-market in market parlance. IEX said that renewable energy traders could trade solar or wind power in regular spot market if bids in G-DAM were partially cleared. Under the scheme, renewable energy sellers would have got equivalent amount of RECs for bids cleared in the spot market. One REC is treated as equivalent to one thousand units of green electricity. CERC said that since there is no substantial data available which can reflect the quantity of surplus renewable power, it is not advisable to introduce this instrument in the power exchange for trading. CERC also said that G-DAM would come in conflict with the existing products such as feed-in tariff and REC. Renewable energy is traded through the REC mechanism in the spot market. It aims to address the mismatch between availability of renewable energy resources in the states and the requirement of the obligated entities to meet their RPO, which mandates that all electricity distribution licensees should purchase or produce a minimum specified quantity of their requirements from renewable energy sources. REC trading is supposed to take place once in a month in the exchange.
Rest of the World
China’s parliament passed a new nuclear safety law aimed at improving regulation in the nuclear power sector as new projects are built across the country. The law will give more powers to the regulator, the National Nuclear Safety Administration (NNSA), and establish new systems that will improve the disclosure of information on issues like radiation, and prevent or minimise risks from nuclear accidents. China is in the middle of an ambitious reactor building programme aimed at bringing total nuclear capacity to 58 GW by the end of the decade, up from 35 GW now. But weak and opaque governance has long been seen as an industry problem, especially when it comes to determining the precise roles of the government, the military and state-owned nuclear enterprises on issues such as the handling of nuclear materials and the disposal of spent fuel. The new law focused on strengthening China’s nuclear safety regime, and would create “institutional mechanisms” and a “division of labour” among regulators and enterprises to clarify responsibilities for safety.
China has approved a plan to promote the Hualong One nuclear reactor as a single integrated nuclear reactor brand to accelerate its development overseas and to compete with advanced models such as Areva’s EPR or Westinghouse’s AP1000. The CNNC and the CGN have been jointly developing the Hualong One design, while continuing to work separately on their own nuclear reactor design. This variety of reactor brands has delayed the approval of new projects in China and abroad, while China aims to raise its nuclear capacity to 200 GW by 2030. CNNC and CGN will transfer intellectual property rights to Hualong International, their joint venture created in 2016 and will use integrated technical standards when building Hualong reactors.
Saudi Arabia and China are to cooperate on nuclear energy projects following discussions between the two countries on ways to support the kingdom’s nuclear energy programme. Saudi Arabia has been for years trying to diversify its energy mix so that it can export more of its oil, rather than burning it at power and water desalination plants. It launched a renewable energy programme this year with the announcement of the winning bid for its first utility-scale solar project due in November. In addition to that programme, Riyadh is in the early stages of feasibility and design studies for its first two commercial nuclear reactors, which will total 2.8 GW. China’s leading state nuclear project developer CNNC has now signed a MoU with the Saudi Geological Survey (SGS) to promote further existing cooperation between the two sides to explore and assess uranium and thorium resources. Nuclear energy will help Saudi Arabia to develop water desalination plants, of which it is a leading producer.
The price Britain will pay for new offshore wind power has plunged below new nuclear generation for the first time, according to figures from a power auction. The rapidly falling cost of wind power may stoke criticism of the government for promising much higher prices to investors in the long-delayed Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant, the first to be built in Britain for more than 20 years. Britain needs to invest in new capacity to replace ageing coal and nuclear plants that are due to close in the 2020s. Renewables, such as wind power and solar, can only meet part of those needs because of their variable supplies determined by the weather and, for now, there are no large scale energy power storage options. Nuclear plants can offer a steady supply, but plans for Hinkley Point C have been beset by delays and rising construction costs. Britain’s subsidy auction for new offshore wind projects awarded contracts between at 74.75 pounds and 57.50 pounds per MWh depending on the delivery date. The eleven renewable energy projects that won contracts are expected to deliver up to 3 GW of new electricity generation capacity from 2021-2023, with the contracts worth up to 176 million a year, the government said.
The Egyptian government has approved contracts for the construction of the El Dabaa nuclear power plant project. The plant is expected to be built with the participation of Rosatom and will consist of four units, each with capacity to produce 1,200 MW of electricity, and take 12 years to complete. The reactors will use Rosatom’s third generation VVER-1200 design. As for the project cost, the total bill is put at $30 bn and the Russian government proposes to lend $25 bn. Egypt is hoping that private investors will cover the shortfall while it will start repaying its loan from Russia in 2029 over 13 years with an interest rate of 3%.
Coal-dependent Poland aims to build its first nuclear power plant by 2029 to reduce carbon emissions. Warsaw announced the project in 2009, but hit numerous delays due to falling power prices and Japan’s 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident, which eroded public support. Last year, the ruling Law and Justice party (PiS) revived the plan after it won elections in 2015, and said it aimed to build the plant within ten years. Poland’s state-run firms have been busy building new coal-fuelled power plants.
Southern Company said it would seek to complete two unfinished nuclear reactors in the US state of Georgia despite billions of dollars of cost overruns that pushed the main contractor, Westinghouse Electric Co LLC, into bankruptcy. The project known as Plant Vogtle is the first new US nuclear power plant to be built since the Three Mile Island accident in 1979, and completing it would provide hope for a struggling US nuclear industry. Southern said it expected the two reactors to be completed by the end of 2022. The project was initially expected to produce power in 2016.
China’s Trina Solar, the world’s largest maker of photovoltaic panels, is looking to grab a piece of Brazil’s nascent solar power market despite tough economic conditions. Trina opened an office in Brazil this year, aiming to become a major player by focusing on small-scale projects such as those that place solar panels on residential and business rooftops. Trina has ruled out building a plant in Brazil, as some competitors have, preferring to initially import panels from China. Brazil has turned to solar energy later than other countries in Latin America. Heavily dependent on hydropower projects, the country only recently decided to diversify its energy mix by adopting solar-friendly policies. But Brazil’s deepest recession on record, with a total economic contraction of 8 percent for 2015 and 2016, dealt a blow to early solar projects, with some being cancelled outright. Trina’s plan to import all its panels means it cannot tap Brazilian government financing for projects that use locally produced panels.
The EU is likely to reduce the minimum price that Chinese solar panel producers are allowed to sell into Europe after a meeting of trade representatives from EU countries. Chinese solar panel imports have been subject to measures to counter dumping and subsidies since 2013, with an 18-month extension agreed by EU countries earlier this year. Chinese companies that sell below a set minimum prices are subject to import duties. The European Commission has proposed a gradual phasing out of the measures, including a schedule that reduces the minimum import price every three months. The EU and China came close to a trade war in 2013 over EU allegations of dumping by Chinese solar panel exporters.
A bitterly divided US solar power industry descended on Washington to testify before a government panel that has been asked to impose steep tariffs on imported solar panels. The trade case, brought by panel maker Suniva, has created a rift between the sector’s struggling US manufacturers and the much bigger domestic industry that installs and develops solar projects. Suniva filed a petition seeking the tariffs with the International Trade Commission in April, nine days after the company sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Suniva, which has been majority owned by Hong Kong-based Shunfeng International Clean Energy since 2015, makes panels in Georgia and Michigan. The company contends that a glut of panels manufactured abroad has depressed prices and made it difficult for American producers to compete. The petition has drawn support from an Oregon-based subsidiary of Germany’s SolarWorld AG. Much of the industry, including the powerful Solar Energy Industries Association trade group, has said tariffs on overseas panels would drive up the price of solar power just as it has become competitive with electricity generated by fossil fuels such as natural gas and coal.
US solar installations rose 8 percent in the second quarter as robust utility demand offset a sharp pullback in residential rooftop systems, according to an industry report published. The industry installed 2.39 GW of photovoltaic solar, up from 2.2 GW a year ago, the report by GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association said. Utility projects accounted for 58 percent of the total. Most new projects for utilities were procured voluntarily rather than because of a need to satisfy government mandates, reflecting the low cost of solar. Voluntary procurement is biggest in the Southeast, though solar is growing most rapidly in the Midwest as utilities see it as a complement to wind farms. The non-residential market soared 31 percent to 437 MW, boosted by development of community solar projects in Minnesota and Massachusetts and corporate and industrial demand in California. Community solar plants provide power to more than one customer but are far smaller than utility-scale plants. In both Massachusetts and California, developers rushed to complete projects under solar incentive programs.
The prospect of China banning fossil fuel-powered vehicles is failing to alarm investors in the oil producers likely to lose out. Shares in the listed units of China’s biggest oil companies, PetroChina Co, Cnooc Ltd and China Petroleum & Chemical Corp, barely budged after the government said it’s working on a timetable to end production and sales of vehicles that run on gasoline, diesel and other fossil fuels. By contrast, electric car producers and the companies that supply their components surged. From the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to BP Plc, the world’s biggest oil producers have started to take electric vehicles seriously as a long-term threat to demand. The head of Royal Dutch Shell Plc has warned oil liquids demand could peak in the early 2030s as electrification accelerates.
Argentine biodiesel exports will be priced out of the US market, its leading industry body said, after Washington decided to impose steep duties on imports that it said were unfairly subsidized. The countervailing duties on soy-based Argentina biodiesel could be as much as 64.17 percent, according to the US Commerce Department. Duties of up to 68.28 percent will be imposed on palm oil biodiesel imports from Indonesia. Argentina accounts for two-thirds of U.S. biodiesel imports, which totalled 3.5 billion litres in 2016, according to US government data. Total US biodiesel consumption is about 7.5 billion litres. The Commerce Department’s decision comes after the US National Biodiesel Board (NBB) asked the government in March to impose duties, claiming the imports were below market value and undercutting US biodiesel producers. Argentine biodiesel association Carbio, which represents producers including Cargill Inc and Louis Dreyfus Co, denied there were subsidies on the country’s biodiesel exports and called the duties protectionist. Indonesia exported 420,000 kilolitres of biodiesel to the US in 2016, according to data from the country’s biodiesel producers association, jumped from 270,000 kilolitres a year ago.
Tanzania has invited bids to build a 2100 MW hydroelectric plant in a World Heritage site renowned for its animal populations, despite opposition from conservationists to the long-delayed project. It expected construction of the power plant to be completed within three years. The deadline for bids is October 16, which specifies that work must be completed within a period of 36 months, with a maximum mobilisation period of three months. The government did not say how much the project would cost and how it would raise financing. Investors have long complained that a lack of reliable power is an obstacle to doing business in East Africa’s second biggest economy. Tanzania aims to boost power generation capacity to 10,000 MW on the next decade from about 1,500 MW now by using hydropower and some of its vast natural gas and coal reserves.
Saudi Arabia aims to exceed its target to generate 9.5 GW of electricity from renewable energy annually, to highlight its long-term commitment to green energy. The government has said it plans to generate 9.5 GW of electricity from renewable sources a year by 2023 through 60 projects, involving an estimated investment of between $30 billion and $50 billion.
Emissions by 90 largest carbon producers contributed almost half of global surface temperature increase and roughly 30 percent of global sea level rise since 1880, an international study said. They blame 50 investor-owned carbon producers, including BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Peabody, Shell and Total, for roughly 16 percent of the global average temperature increase from 1880 to 2010, and around 11 percent of the global sea level rise during the same time-frame. The first-of-its-kind study published in the scientific journal Climatic Change links global climate changes to the product-related emissions of specific fossil fuel producers. Focusing on the largest gas, oil and coal producers and cement manufacturers, the study calculated the amount of sea level rise and global temperature increase resulting from the carbon dioxide and methane emissions from their products as well as their extraction and production processes. The study quantified climate change impacts of each company’s carbon and methane emissions during two time periods: 1880 to 2010 and 1980 to 2010. By 1980, investor-owned fossil fuel companies were aware of the threat posed by their products and could have taken steps to reduce their risks and share them with their shareholders and the public.
The study, “The rise in global atmospheric CO2, surface temperature, and sea level from emissions traced to major carbon producers”, builds on a landmark 2014 study by Richard Heede of the Climate Accountability Institute, one of the co-authors of the study published. Heede’s study, which also was published in Climatic Change, determined the quantity of carbon dioxide and methane emissions that resulted from the burning of products sold by the 90 largest investor-and state-owned fossil fuel companies and cement manufacturers. The study led by Ekwurzel found that emissions traced to the 90 largest carbon producers contributed to approximately 57 percent of the observed rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide, nearly 50 percent of the rise in global average temperature, and around 30 percent of global sea level rise since 1880.
PV: photovoltaic, MNRE: Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, MW: megawatt, GW: gigawatt, EESL: Energy Efficiency Services Ltd, MoU: Memorandum of Understanding, NDMC: New Delhi Municipal Council, kWh: kilowatt hour, PPAs: power purchase agreements. DMRC: Delhi Metro Rail Corp, discoms: distribution companies, RIL: Reliance Industries Ltd, LNG: liquefied natural gas, NPAs: non-performing assets, IEX: Indian Energy Exchange, CERC: Central Electricity Regulatory Commission, RPOs: renewable purchase obligations, G-DAM: green day-ahead-market RECs: renewable energy certificates, CNNC: China National Nuclear Corp, MWh: megawatt hour, US: United States, CGN: China General Nuclear Project Corp, EU: European Union