carbon footprint: High carbon emitters may get sops to curb footprint

India is considering several measures to incentivise high carbon emitting industries such as steel, cement and thermal plants to set up carbon capture facilities. Incentives could be provided through production-linked incentive schemes, viability gap funding or carbon credits.

Niti Aayog, the country’s think-tank policy, will soon come out with a policy prescription for carbon capture and utilization of carbon dioxide emitted by industries as part of the plan to achieve Net Zero by 2070, an official said requesting anonymity.

These industries constitute 6-10% of the total carbon dioxide emitted.

“Various options are being considered to incentivise the polluting industries to set up carbon capture plants to capture, utilise and store carbon from the carbon dioxide emitted by them so that it can be used for various industrial purposes,” the official said.

According to the official, while research and development support will be given by the government to these sectors to set up carbon capture plants, options for a fiscal support are also being considered.

“The government may issue carbon credits, which can be traded at carbon exchanges, or a PLI scheme under which incentives could be linked to the amount of carbon captured and utilised,” the official said.

The NITI Aayog, along with other central ministries, had held a stakeholder consultation with the industry on March 30 on the viability of setting up such plants to help India significantly reduce its industrial carbon emissions.

According to the estimates, such industries will have to incur an additional 10-15% cost in setting up plants. This can be compensated by the government and hence not lead to any significant increase in the product prices.

Some of the options that are being explored for carbon storage and utilization include commercial use of carbon dioxide, using it for methanol production and using it for extended oil recovery from the oil basins

Finally, the excess can be subjected to sequestration, which is the process of storing carbon dioxide in underground geologic formations. Under this, the carbon dioxide is usually pressurised until it becomes a liquid and then it is injected into porous rock formations in geologic basins. This process helps to remove excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere permanently.

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