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Arunachal eyes carbon credits revenue

Itanagar: Arunachal Pradesh’s department of hydro power development (DHPD) has become the first renewable energy-producing entity of the state to claim carbon credits from the Universal Carbon Registry (UCR).

A carbon credit is a kind of permit that gives its holder the right to emit one tonne of carbon dioxide or the equivalent amount of a different greenhouse gas. It also provides a way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by giving them a fiscal value.

Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein, who is in charge of DHPD, had been suggesting the utilisation of carbon credits, an untapped resource for a long time. Officials said carbon assets management (carbon credits trading) for the hydropower plants of DHPD has been accomplished bundle-wise.

This has been done through registration of 11.998 MW, 11.925 MW, 8.32 MW and 10.91 MW with UCR numbers 090, 091, 092 and 093 respectively.

The DHPD has 74.88 million units generated by 135 state-owned plants, which is equivalent to 54,410 carbon credits annually and can earn approximately ₹1.15 crore at the present market rate, the CE (West Zone) of DHPD said.

Arunachal Pradesh has a vast hydropower potential of more than 55,000 MW (identified so far) for development and its energy is green energy. The DHPD operates 135 micro, mini and small hydropower plants of 81.07 MW installed capacity across the state. These plants are run-of-the-river type and eligible for carbon credit.

Hydropower Commissioner Prashant Lokhande said the move for receiving carbon credits will aid the mission of achieving net-zero emissions by 2070 as announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the COP26 summit.

Out of the total plants, 98 micro, mini and small hydropower plants comprising 50.295 MW installed capacity have been considered for carbon credits registration, and assets management for the 2014-2020 period.

The carbon credits calculated for this period from the state-owned micro, mini and small hydropower plants across the state is 250.65 million units and the revenue earned from carbon credits trading at the present market rate would be ₹4.83 crore till 2020.

Arunachal Pradesh is contributing to the carbon sink undertaking by considering 50 micro and mini-hydropower projects under Golden Jubilee Border Village Illumination Programme in a phased manner. In the first phase, 17 micro and mini-hydropower projects with an installed capacity of 1255 KW are being developed starting from 2021-22 fiscal.

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