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Global investment in clean energy at $2 trillion is twice that of fossil fuels in 2024: IEA

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New Delhi, June 6 (IANS) Despite pressures on financing, global investment in clean energy is set to reach almost double the amount going to fossil fuels in 2024, helped by improving supply chains and lower costs for clean technologies, according to a new IEA report, released on Thursday.

Total energy investment worldwide is expected to exceed $3 trillion in 2024 for the first time, with some $2 trillion set to go toward clean technologies – including renewables, electric vehicles, nuclear power, grids, storage, low-emissions fuels, efficiency improvements and heat pumps, as per the latest edition of the IEA’s annual World Energy Investment report.

Solar PV is leading the transformation of the power sector. More money is now going into solar PV than all other electricity generation technologies combined. In 2024, investment in solar PV is set to grow to $500 billion as falling module prices spur new investments, according to the report.

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Slightly over $1 trillion of investment is going to coal, gas and oil. In 2023, combined investment in renewable power and grids overtook the amount spent on fossil fuels for the first time.

“For every dollar going to fossil fuels today, almost two dollars are invested in clean energy,” said IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol.

The new report warns, however, that there are still major imbalances and shortfalls in energy investment flows in many parts of the world. It highlights the low level of clean energy spending in emerging and developing economies (outside China), which is set to exceed $300 billion for the first time – led by India and Brazil.

Yet, this accounts for only about 15 per cent of global clean energy investment, far below what is required to meet growing energy demand in many of these countries, where the high cost of capital is holding back the development of new projects, the report adds.

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When the Paris Agreement was reached in 2015, the combined investment in renewables and nuclear for electricity generation was twice the amount going to fossil fuel-fired power. In 2024, this is set to rise to ten times as much, the report highlights.

China is set to account for the largest share of clean energy investment in 2024, reaching an estimated $675 billion. This results from strong domestic demand across three industries in particular – solar, lithium batteries and electric vehicles.

Europe and the United States follow, with clean energy investment of $370 billion and $315 billion respectively.

–IANS

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GST Council waives interest, penalty on notices to taxpayers under Section 73

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New Delhi, June 22 (IANS) As part of several taxpayer-friendly decisions, the GST Council on Saturday recommended the waiving of interest and penalty in cases of tax demand notices that have been sent under Section 73, of the GST Act, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said after the meeting.

“In the case of demand notices issued for 2017-18, 2018-19, 2019-20, interest and penalty will be waived off, if tax is paid by March 31, 2025,” Nirmala Sitharaman said.

The GST Council has also recommended that the time limit to avail input tax credit in respect of any invoice or debit note under section 16(4) of the CGST Act filed up to the 30-11-2021 for the financial years 17-18, 18-19, 19-20 and 20-21 may be deemed to be 2011 to 2021.

So for the same requisite amendment retrospectively with effect from 1 July 2017, the Finance Minister said.

In order to reduce tax litigation which is expected to benefit both taxpayers and the government, the GST council recommended a minimum limit for filing appeals of Rs 20 lakh for the appellate tribunal, Rs 1 crore for the High Court and Rs 2 crore for the Supreme Court.

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In another taxpayer-friendly measure, the GST Council has decided to introduce Form GSTR 1A to enable taxpayers to add information they have missed when filing Form GSTR 1.

The new form can also be used to correct mistakes that they have made while filing their particulars in form GSTR 1.

–IANS

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Govt rolling out pan-India biometric authentication to prevent GST fraud

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New Delhi, June 22 (IANS) The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council at its 53rd meeting on Saturday decided to roll out pan-India Aadhaar-based biometric authentication to check fake invoicing used to fraudulently claim input tax credit (ITC) by unscrupulous elements, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said.

Two pilot projects for biometric authentication have already been carried out successfully and now the facility will be rolled out nationwide in a phased manner, the Finance Minister said at a press conference.

To facilitate GST registration, Aadhaar biometric authentication will become mandatory for new registrations across the country, she added.

“This will help us to combat fraudulent input tax credit claims made through fake invoices,” FM Sitharaman said.

FM Sitharaman also said that a Group of Ministers (GoM) for reationalising GST rates has been set up, which will submit a status report in the next meeting.

Bihar Deputy CM Samrat Choudhary will chair the GoM.

FM Sitharaman said that while a lot of decisions were taken at Saturday’s meeting, not all GST issues could be included in the agenda.

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The GST Council will meet again after the Budget Session of Parliament is over to take up these issues.

The meeting is likely to be held in mid-August, she added.

–IANS

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GST Council okays uniform 12 per cent GST on milk cans, cartons, water sprinklers

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New Delhi, June 22 (IANS) The GST Council meeting held on Saturday recommended a uniform GST rate of 12 per cent on all milk cans whether they be made of steel, iron, or aluminum, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said.

Milk cans will be governed by a standard measurement and not by the material they are made of, in order to avoid ambiguity, the Finance Minister said.

They are called milk cans but wherever they are used, that will be the rate applicable so that no disputes arise out of it, she added.

The council also recommended a uniform GST rate of 12 per cent on all carton boxes and cases of both corrugated and non-corrugated paper or paper board.

This will in particular help the apple growers of Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir.

A uniform 12 per cent GST has also been recommended on all types of water sprinklers including fire water sprinklers, she added.

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–IANS

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Railway services, students' hostels exempted from GST

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New Delhi, June 22 (IANS) The GST Council meeting chaired by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday decided to exempt services provided by Indian Railways from GST.

Addressing the media after the council meeting, the Finance Minister said the purchase of railway tickets and payments for waiting room and cloak room charges have been exempted from GST.

Similarly, no GST will be levied on services provided like battery-operated vehicles and intra-railway services.

The Council has also decided to exempt GST on charges for hostels for students that are located outside educational institutions.

The exemption will be extended to hostels run by communities as well.

However, the condition will be that the upper limit of charges will be Rs 20,000 per person per month and the student must have stayed in the hostel for a continuous period of 90 days.

The condition has been introduced to prevent hotels from taking advantage of the exemption, she added.

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The Finance Minister clarified that hostels located within education institutions are already exempt from GST.

–IANS

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Committed to making India a global skilling hub: Union Minister

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New Delhi, June 22 (IANS) To empower Indian nurses with global career opportunities, Union Minister of State for the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Jayant Chaudhary, on Saturday felicitated 32 healthcare professionals for successfully completing the B1 level of German language training and said, “committed to making India a global skilling hub”.

This development reaffirms the government’s commitment to making India the global hub for skilled talent and outlines the ambitious strategies under Skill India 2.0.

The training aims to equip the nurses with the necessary language skills for a successful career and livelihood in Germany.

“In Germany alone, with their aging population, there would be approximately 1.8 million job opportunities available for suitable candidates,” the minister said.

“Therefore, it’s imperative that we have the right approach to fill these positions in a focused manner, and Skill India’s International’s strong connect can fill this gap and I must congratulate every candidate as each of you is a changemaker and an ambassador of India,” he added.

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The two to three-month comprehensive residential training programme under the Skill India International initiative was imparted to all the candidates who have completed their B.Sc. Nursing or the General Nursing and Midwifery (GNM) programmes.

The Minister also highlighted the successful placement of more than 58,000 skilled Indians in various countries as part of India’s mission to become a global skilling powerhouse.

“The growing skill gap in Germany, particularly in the healthcare sector, poses a significant challenge. Therefore, we felt the need to find a solution to offer, which is structured migration, which not only caters to the skill gap but also offers us the quality expected to meet the demands of the healthcare Industry,” said German Ambassador Dr. Philipp Ackermann.

All 32 candidates cleared the B1 German Language Training through TELC.

As per the ministry, all the candidates will be placed with the leading hospitals and employers, earning between 2,300 and 2,700 euros per month (over Rs 2 lakh), with B2 training included.

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After completing B2 in Germany, their salary will increase to approximately Rs 3 to 4 lakh.

–IANS

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