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- Tarun Kapoor
In the past, high oil prices have increased the cost competitiveness of low-carbon energy alternatives and made such investments more attractive. Oil and gas prices are now reaching multi-year highs, creating additional momentum by policy makers and environmentalists to further accelerate the pace of transition. Will high oil prices, even for a short duration, help accelerate transition? Will volatility in commodity prices encourage regulators to restrict oil and gas investments? Will high oil prices facilitate faster electrification in the transport sector? Are high commodity prices necessary for this decade to finance the energy transition?
In the full spectrum of low-carbon solutions, waste-to-energy plays the role of bringing together the value propositions of the circular economy, affordable transport fuels, and revenue streams to the agricultural/municipal waste sectors to generate a range of products such as electricity, biodiesel, and biogas. Recently, the Indian Ministry of New & Renewable Energy, the UN Industrial Development Organization, and the Global Environment Facility jointly launched a loan interest subvention scheme that will provide monetary assistance for innovative waste to energy bio-methanation projects. What is the potential of waste-to-energy in India’s primary energy mix? What are the most promising and scalable technologies in this area? What are the policy actions the Government of India is taking to speed up deployment? The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has characterized Compressed Bio Gas (CBG) projects as “priority sector” for lending, and the State Bank of India has pursued the policy of financing CBG projects. What other financial support mechanisms are needed to accelerate the scaling up of the waste-to-energy sector?