Tamil Nadu is developing its own greenhouse gas emission inventory, according to Supriya Sahu, Additional Chief Secretary, Environment, Forests and Climate Change.
“A lot of people ask me when Tamil Nadu will reach net zero emissions. But it is essential to know the exact inventory of greenhouse gas emissions. It has already been done for the Chennai Corporation. The draft document has been brought out and comments have been sought from members of the public. We can pick up some lessons from there,” she said at the inaugural function of the two-day Tamil Nadu Sustainable Energy Transformation Dialogues on Thursday.
The event is organised by WRI India, Auroville Consulting and Citizen consumer and civic Action Group (CAG).
Ms. Sahu said it was important to get the inventory process done as the State developed its decarbonisation pathways. She also highlighted the steps the State had taken in its fight against climate change: the declaration of 13 wetlands as RAMSAR sites in six months, up from just one; Green Tamil Nadu Mission; and Climate Change Mission.
Vikram Kapur, Additional Chief Secretary, Department of Planning and Development, highlighted the challenges in the transition towards green energy. He pointed to the higher peak demand during summer, especially at night. The availability of renewable energy was lower, and the reliance on coal-based power plants was higher. Fossil fuel-based power plants, he said, would continue operating to meet the peak demand in summer.
He also cited a study according to which though the installed capacity of renewable energy was higher, the unit consumption thereof had not crossed 21%, as mandated by regulation, at the national and State levels. He also pointed to another challenge: the extra cost of renewable energy integration and who would bear it. He called for a method to compensate for the integration.
According to WRI’s working paper on ‘Low Emissions Analysis Platform for Tamil Nadu’, which was released on the occasion, the State could cut its emissions by 25%-32% if it integrated 60% of its renewable capacity.