India's railways are the country's largest consumer of electricity and diesel fuel. A plan to deploy one gigawatt of solar photovoltaic installations on railways could reduce the sector's environmental impact while generating economic opportunities.
As world leaders deal with climate change, aim to lift more people out of poverty, and make the world a more sustainable, prosperous place in 2015, here are the top Stories to Watch, according to WRI’s experts and as presented by WRI President and CEO Andrew Steer on January 8.
Last month India pledged to increase national solar generation capacity to 100 gigawatts (GW) by 2022, but connecting solar projects to the country’s grid has been difficult in the past and could limit progress toward the new goal. Fortunately, an innovative decision by the Indian state of Karnataka may show how to solve the problem.
Setting prices that reflect these side effects—through taxes, licensing, or cap-and-trade systems—could reduce deaths from fossil fuel-related air pollution by 63 percent, decrease global carbon dioxide emissions by 23 percent, and generate revenues totaling about 2.6 percent of global GDP.
There’s a growing gap between current investment in low-carbon energy and what’s needed to meet world demand while avoiding the worst impacts of climate change. The good news is there’s sufficient capital and investor interest to close much of this gap.
However, policies that encourage market certainty and level the playing field between different energy sources are needed to attract the volume of investment required, according to a special International Energy Agency (IEA) report, the World Energy Investment Outlook, released this month.