Social Media Poster: World Wild Life Day 2022

Thu, 03/03/2022 - 11:05
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#India, a megadiverse country with only 2.4% of the world's land area, accounts for 7-8% of all recorded wildlife species. Unfortunately quite a few of these species are endangered and are on the verge of extinction IUCN Red List #ConserveWildlife #ActNow #WorldWildlifeDay

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Social Media Poster: Sustainable Transport - CUMTA

Wed, 02/03/2022 - 11:50
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The main aim of CUMTA is to unify all modes of transport and act as the key coordinating agency for delivering urban mobility services all over Chennai. For operationalizing CUMTA, a loan of $8 million was allocated by the World Bank and AIIB.

#StreetsForLife #SustainableMobility #UrbanMobilityindia #Masterplan #Chennai #ShareAuto #Transportation #Development  #Metro #MTC #MRTS #SmartCity  #Cyclists #Pedestrians #Driving #Responsibility #IncredibleIndia

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Webinar on Electricity Sector Competition

Tue, 01/03/2022 - 13:11
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Webinar 2: Electricity Sector Competition 

February 15th, 2022

Post Webinar Note

Context

Competition in power markets enhances efficiency in the sector, while bringing in additional finance and capital to strengthen the sector. Consumers are provided with greater choices in service providers and business models such as Opex and open access as per their energy requirements, load patterns and economic and financial considerations. This has also led to a greater number of players in the market which makes it more competitive, increases choices for the consumer and widens the scale of deployment of such solutions. 

As Tamil Nadu embarks on this journey of strengthening the electricity sector by promoting competition in the sector and introducing new business models, the ‘Citizen consumer and Civic Action Group (CAG)’ in collaboration with MP Ensystems Advisory Pvt. Ltd organized a webinar to discuss the considerations, implications and relevance of ‘Electricity Sector Competition’. 

Key Discussion Points

Presentation on electricity sector competition: Dr Mahesh Patankar, MP Ensystems 

  • Electricity sector has a political economy of its own and the sector has long suffered due to inefficient administration. Most of the state-owned utilities continue to bleed financially as mounting losses continue to affect the reforms that have been undertaken in recent years.
  • India is now on a clear path of decarbonisation which was also on display during the Prime Minister’s announcements at the UN COP-26 Summit, where he declared the Panchamrit targets:
  • India will get its non-fossil energy capacity to 500 GW by 2030
  • India will meet 50% of its energy requirements till 2030 with RE
  • India will reduce its projected carbon emission by one billion tons by 2030
  • India will reduce the carbon intensity of its economy by 45 % by 2030
  • India will achieve net zero by 2070
  • The Electricity Act, 2003 which was a landmark Act for the electricity sector in India included provisions of introduction of power exchanges and the facility of availing open access in India. These steps have been fundamental to the strengthening of competition in the electricity sector. The uptake in the number of consumers and volume of electricity availed through open access is a testament to that.
  • Various models have been tried in different parts of the country in the electricity sector. Some of the notable examples are Bhiwandi model, which was a distribution franchisee model, New Delhi model, etc which have achieved varying levels of success in promoting efficiency in the electricity sector.
  • Tamil Nadu has been an active participant in implementing energy sector reforms and striving for universal access to energy as the state has already achieved 100% electrification of households. It also has the highest number of open access consumers in the country. In this perspective, promoting efficiency and competition in the electricity sector is vital.  

Panel Discussion: Promoting Electricity Sector Competition

Ashwini Swain, Centre for Policy Research

  • There have already been numerous models that have been tried throughout the country to promote efficiency in the retail sector but judging by the degree of success achieved by different models, it cannot be said that privatisation is the cure to all maladies. 
  • Despite going down the privatisation path, Bhiwandi and Odisha models achieved contrasting results. While Delhi saw an improvement in efficiency, provision of quality supply and reduction in Transmission and Distribution losses, the same was not the case in Odisha. Hence, it is essential to take a holistic view of the issues in the sector in different geographies instead of taking a one size fits all approach.
  • The case of Punjab is different than the other two cases as Punjab State Power Corporation Limited became financially crippled not on account of operational inefficiency but due to delays in provision of subsidy requirement. Thus, there are many issues that plague the power sector distributed throughout the whole ecosystem and there is a need to analyse all aspects before finalising a particular approach for reforms.

Ann Josey, Prayas Energy Group 

  • Just a change in ownership is not the solution to improving efficiency in the electricity sector. The current model followed predominantly in India is based on a cost-plus framework, which has no incentives for the organisations for improvement of efficiency. 
  • Prayas Group’s analysis of private sector distribution companies illustrates that there is no real competition when it comes to power procurement by these companies. These Discoms go through the route of competitive bidding for their power procurement, but it was found that most of these companies had contracted power with their own sister concerns, thus rendering the competitive bidding meaningless. Example- Torrent Power.
  • To promote efficiency in the sector, there is a need to promote competition in the entire supply chain. The retail structural model of California is a good case study in this regard. 
  • There is a need to share the risk as well as the rewards for the players in the electricity ecosystem, with a focus on the consumers. 

Netra Walawalkar, Customized Energy Solutions

  • Many large commercial and industrial consumers are now willing to explore open access to reduce their electricity cost, as it is a fixed structure with Discoms, and manage their power requirements as per demand projections. There is also a growing interest in Renewable energy purchase. 
  • Short term power trade through power exchanges has also increased, but has stagnated in recent years, and there is scope to increase participation through this medium.
  • For consumers signing third party power agreements via PPAs with generators, the landed cost for the consumer often does not make sense due to cross subsidy and other charges. Even though Electricity Act says cross subsidy and other charges should increase, this is not happening practically.
  • Despite these charges, there has been an increase in availing through Open access by industrial and commercial consumers who have been able to reduce their electricity costs.

Arijit Maitra, Independent Counsel and Lawyer

  • Indian Electricity Act, 1910 provided for private licensees, which led to the existence of Tata Power, India Power Company, BSES, etc. In 1948, State Electricity Boards were formed. Between 1948-1998, there was a huge mismanagement by state Discoms and a high level of inefficiency.
  • The burning issues in the power sector are:
  • Failure to pay the outstanding dues to suppliers
  • Failure to have tariffs fixed rationally and scientifically
  • Failure to arrest arrears

Due to these issues, there is a need to bring in efficient private players, Delhi being a good example. 

  • Privatisation can have various models. 
  1. In Shrirampur of Maharashtra, Mula Pravara Electric Cooperative Society were rejected renewal of license on the ground that they failed to pay the bulk supply tariff to MSEDCL, and they were supplying to the rich consumers without recovering tariffs. Now the assets of Mula Pravara are with MSEDCL, for which it is paying user charges. Thus, despite not being a licensee, it is not being paid for the assets.
  2. Delhi model is another model of privatisation. Delhi DISCOMs have regulatory assets exceeding Rs 10,000 crore but are still unable to clear the outstanding dues of the suppliers.
  3. Chandigarh presents another model for privatisation.
  • Many states are currently failing. Even in Tamil Nadu, the outstanding dues with generators have been increasing consistently, while there has also been an inability to assess the grid situation. Hence, there is a need for efficient players to be brought onboard.  

Concluding Remarks: Vishnu Rao, CAG

  • The corporate governance of electricity sector warrants adequate scrutiny as well. Utilities can be private or public, but procedural safeguards in the corporate governance structure helps ensure more accountability and transparency in the operational setup. 
  • More transparency akin to share markets where investors’ presentations are put online can be thought of to provide the company some value. A push towards sustainability and governance can be given more priority to make utilities more accountable. This type of an alternate approach where competition not just in the sector, but also in the governance part as well can improve the electricity ecosystems. 
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Social Media Poster: Climate Change - Impact on Younger Generation

Tue, 01/03/2022 - 10:40
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According to UNICEF, approximately 1 billion children are at an 'extremely high risk' of the impacts of the #ClimateChange. These children experience multiple climate shocks combined with poor essential services such as water, sanitation and healthcare #SaveOurChildren

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Social Media Poster: International Waste Pickers Day 2022

Tue, 01/03/2022 - 07:00
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#India’s estimated 1.5 million to 4 million waste pickers who are undervalued and underpaid, do not even have a place in social security schemes. It's hightime their invaluable work is acknowledged & formalised as essential work. #WastePickersDay #ZeroWaste #CircularEconomy

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Social Media Poster: Road Safety - Child Restraint Systems

Mon, 28/02/2022 - 19:49
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பாதுகாப்பு இருக்கைகளில் இளம் பிள்ளைகள் உட்காரவைக்கப்பட்டால், தப்பிக்கும் வாய்ப்பானது ஏறக்குறைய மூன்று மடங்கு அதிகரிக்கிறது.இதைச் சற்று யோசித்துப் பாருங்கள்: உங்கள் பிள்ளையின் பாதுகாப்பை நீங்கள் எந்தளவு முக்கியமானதாய் கருதுகிறீர்கள்?

#RoadSafety #StreetsForLife #Responsibility #ChildRestraintSystems #SaferCarsForIndia

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Social Media Poster: FoPL - Processed Foods

Sun, 27/02/2022 - 11:07
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We're now eating a LOT of processed foods! A recent study in BMC Public Health indicates that the consumption of processed foods (baked goods, snacks prepared commercially, ice cream, and chocolates) contributes to nearly 10 % of Indians' caloric intake! Among Indians, consumption of processed foods is highest in the Southern states. We need nutritional labelling on foods that tell us what is in these foods.

#FoodLabelsSaveLives #KnowWhatYouEat #GlobalHealth #HealthyIndia #WarningLabels #HealthForAll #PolicyChangeSavesLives #AzadiKaAmritMahotsav #JagoGrahakJago #ConsumerProtection

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Social Media Poster: Sustainable Transport - Chennai masterplan on Electric Vehicles

Sat, 26/02/2022 - 18:39
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13 years after the release of the second master plan, the government has finally started taking steps to fulfil the demand for charging stations and to increase electric vehicles (EVs) to improve the EV sector. The 10 MoUs signed under EVs are set to provide 26,865 jobs and over a dozen EV companies are committed to investing in the EV sector. In addition, the government is also working on the revised EV policy with special features, which will help to further expand the EV industry. What do you think about the state of the EV sector? 

#streetsforlife #sustainablemobility #urbanmobilityindia #Masterplan #Chennai #transportation #development #TransportAuthority #electricvehicle #electricscooter #EV 

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Social Media Poster: Road Safety - Unrestrained Children

Fri, 25/02/2022 - 18:28
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Children in an appropriate car seat for their size and weight are significantly less likely to be killed or injured than unrestrained children. The chance to reduce a serious injury or fatality is in our hands now. Let us practice using child restraints in our cars consistently to ensure child safety on roads.

#RoadSafety #StreetsForLife #Responsibility #ChildRestraintSystems #SaferCarsForIndia

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Social Media Poster: Climate Change - Impact on Coastal Regions

Thu, 24/02/2022 - 18:39
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According to a new research by UQ News, Global coastal regions are diminishing rapidly due to #ClimateChange. This emphasizes the need to act quickly and decisively if we hope to conserve and restore whatever is left of our precious coastal ecosystems #ConserveCoastalEcosystems.

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