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Daily Archives: March 19, 2013

Asian Development Bank to make a $2 million equity investment in Simpa Networks

ADB has signed a $2 million equity investment in Simpa Networks, a company that offers a simple, prepaid payment platform to enable affordable clean energy solutions for underserved consumers in India. “The success of this entrepreneurial venture could lead to increased venture capital funding for inclusive business models which deliver goods and services to those at the base of the economic pyramid,” said Aniruddha Patil, Investment Specialist with ADB’s Private Sector Operations Department. Greater access to electricity in rural India ... Read More »

Discoms trip on renewable obligations

According to reports, about a year back, this writer asked the Chairman of the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission Pramod Deo, whether the State electricity regulatory commissions would enforce the ‘renewable purchase obligation’. (Under this, specified ‘obligated entities’ are mandated, by law, to either purchase costlier green power, or buy ‘renewable energy certificates’ from the market.) He replied that it was like asking whether policemen would catch thieves. Going by recent trends, it does appear that the ‘policemen’ are rather disinterested in ... Read More »

500 ‘green’ e-autos to hit Ahmedabad roads on I-Day

According to reports, Amdavadis will see 500 pollution-free auto-rickshaws on city roads this Independence Day, thanks to an agreement signed between the umbrella organisation of the city’s auto-drivers unions and a joint venture with a Japanese company. The Japanese firm manufactures closed-body battery-operated electric auto-rickshaws (e-autos) which are not only environment-friendly but cost little to operate and maintain. As a result, commuters can expect much-needed relief from high auto fares. On Monday, the Ahmedabad Auto Rickshaw Chalak Sangarsh Samiti (AARCSS), a ... Read More »

UP, Rajasthan to rejig Rs 650 billion bad loans of power utilities

According to reports, six months after the Centre offered restructuring packages for State Electricity Distribution Companies (discoms), Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan are ready to implement the plan. The Centre had unveiled the package to improve the deteriorating financial health of the State utilities. Together, the discoms of UP and Rajasthan have bad debts of around Rs 65,000 crore. According to the Centre’s package, States have to bear half the burden by issuing bonds in phases, the rest has to be provided ... Read More »

MNRE asks telecom firms to turn 50000 towers to solar

According to reports, alarmed with environmental hazards and rising fuel imports, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) want telecom operators to turn at least 50,000 towers onto solar energy immediately. Speaking to CIOL, MNRE joint secretary Tarun Kapoor said that they have asked telecom firms to turn 50,000 telecom towers onto solar. The telcos, he said, are reluctant as capital investment, is apparently a key concern for them. Kapoor, however informed that a cost to turn a tower onto ... Read More »

India’s power slipping away?

According to reports, once in a blue moon, an Indian bureaucrat gets it right. R.V. Shahi, the Union power secretary in 2003, took on a backwater job that few wanted, and resurrected the country’s electricity sector. Fundamental to his initiative was setting up a regulatory regime for utilities, non-existent for 50 years. Utilities in India, called state electricity boards (SEBs), had hitherto operated mainly as dispensers of political largesse. Electricity was given away to votebanks like farmers, theft was unbridled and ... Read More »

Energy puts Africa on front burner for India

According to reports, the significance of ties between India and Africa has been gaining greater strategic prominence due to India’s interest in the energy sector in the region. Although West Asia has been India’s primary source of energy, the growing Indian demand for energy resources cannot be secured without diversification and Africa, with approximately 9% of the world’s proven oil and gas deposits. At the 9th three-day CII-EXIM Bank Conclave on India-Africa Project Partnership in New Delhi, the largest ever India-Africa ... Read More »

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