Daily News Wrap-Up: Indian Railways Aims Net-Zero Carbon Emissions by 2030

Government notifies new e-waste management rules, including solar photovoltaic modules and cells


Here are some noteworthy cleantech announcements of the day from India and around the world:

Minister of Railways Ashwini Vaishnaw informed the Lok Sabha that the Indian Railways aims to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2030 and is committed to 100% electrification of the broad gauge railway network. The minister said that until October 2022, the Railways had commissioned around 142 MW of solar capacity on rooftops and vacant land, while it had also commissioned about 103 MW of wind power projects. The Railways plans to install waste-to-energy plants to use the same in its operations.

Minister of State for Environment, Forest & Climate Change Ashwini Kumar Choubey informed Rajya Sabha that the government had notified the E-Waste (Management) Rules, 2022 replacing the E-waste (Management) Rules, 2016. Effective April 1, 2023, the new rules launch a new Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for recycling e-waste. The new rules also include the management of solar photovoltaic modules and cells. The rules mandate reducing hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment manufacturing. Producers must ensure that the maximum prescribed concentration of lead, mercury, and other such harmful substances does not breach the limit set under the new rules.

Union Minister of State for Science and Technology Jitendra Singh informed the Rajya Sabha that the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant Units 1&2 of 1,000 MW capacity each in Tamil Nadu are operational, and the remaining four units of 1,000 MW each are under construction. The minister said the site will achieve its full capacity of 6 GW with six nuclear reactors of 1 GW each by the end of 2027.

Dynapower, a power conversion and energy storage solutions provider, will provide 220 MW of Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor (IGBT) chopper rectifiers to the Utah-based Advanced Clean Energy Storage hub. The hub will capture excess wind and solar energy using Dynapower’s power conversion systems. It will then be converted into green hydrogen through electrolysis and stored in underground caverns. The rectifiers will support the production of green hydrogen to accelerate the decarbonization of the Western United States. IGBTs are three-terminal semiconductor switching devices used in many electronic devices.

India-based manufacturer of flexible packaging solutions Chirpal Group launched a new solar component manufacturing company named Grew Energy. The new venture has been formed to provide a complete ecosystem for photovoltaic modules, as currently, India imports ~90% of the solar components for photovoltaic modules from different countries. Grew Energy will commence production in June 2023 and cover the manufacturing of components required for the entire solar energy ecosystem in India until next 2026.

Renewable energy producer Voltalia has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Government of Egypt to develop, finance, and operate a cluster combining green hydrogen production with solar and wind power generation. Initially, the collaboration will aim to establish a green hydrogen production facility with a capacity of 15,000 tons annually near Ain Sokhna port in the Suez Canal Economic Zone through a 100 MW electrolyzer supplied with 283 MW of renewable power. The project will later be expanded to produce 150,000 tons of green hydrogen per year with an electrolyzer capacity of up to an aggregate of 1 GW supplied through 2.7 GW of solar and wind energy.