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Swedish Solutions for Energy Efficiency
The Swedish Embassy believes that Waste-to- Energy (WtE) solutions have a great potential in India. Currently there is a huge lack of sustainable management of municipal solid waste and management of different types of organic industrial waste, where an introduction of WtE solutions would both solve the waste management problems and also contribute to the energy needs of the country.

Sweden has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Delhi Government for setting up India's first Compressed Biogas (CBG) plant that converts waste into compressed natural gas (CNG). The country is also most likely to enter into similar agreements with two more cities, probably Vishakhapatnam and Pune. Mikael Kullman, Counsellor-Environment, Climate Change and Energy, Embassy of Sweden, New Delhi, talks about these initiatives taking place in India.

Swedish Companies' Initiative on Waste to Gas Projects in India Kullman believes that quite some actions are undertaken and progress is made. The Swedish Embassy, together with Swedish Energy Agency has, in close collaboration with the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, initiated a number of concrete projects focusing on Waste-to-Energy (WtE) both on central and local level. Examples of projects initiated - in addition to the Delhi Biogas Project and Pilot Plant discussed below:

• Ghazipur - Biogas from abattoirs and landfills (Delhi)
• Bhairoba Sewage Treatment Optimisation Plan (Pune)
• Development of sustainable waste management systems in Pune (Pune)
• Knowledge transfer on biogas production in Mysore (Mysore)
• Small scale waste handling in Panchayats in Tamil Nadu
• Waste Management details of City Development Plan (Visakhapatnam)

Kullman believes that Sweden is only in the beginning of a long-term relation with Indian partners, where partnerships including knowledge sharing, technology transfer and policy discussions will be further established and developed.

Mitigating the Carbon Footprint
Every biogas plant will contribute towards reducing harmful gases being released into the atmosphere. The current practice with many Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs) in urban centers is to flare the gas being produced. In order to have any impact on mitigating a city╩s or country╩s carbon footprint, unnecessary releases like this need to be stopped. By taking that gas and upgrading it, we have a win-win situation. Of course, only one or two such plants will not make a dent on the country╩s footprint, but if this practice can be scaled up into the millions, Kullman feels that Sweden could talk about significant mitigation action being taken.

Scope of WtE Solutions in India
The Swedish Embassy believes that Waste-to-Energy (WtE) solutions have a great potential in India. Currently there is a huge lack of sustainable management of municipal solid waste as well as management of different types of organic industrial waste, where an introduction of Waste-to-Energy (WtE) solutions would both solve the waste management problems and at the same time contribute to the energy needs of the country. Still, it is of course important that technology used is adapted to the Indian conditions (climate, composition of waste etc) and also that the solutions implemented are not only technically viable but also sustainable from a financial, environmental and social point of view. These are challenges that have to be met, but from the experience and results of Swedish companiesso far in India, Kullman believes that these are potentials to overcome these conditions.

Swedish Technologies for Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency
As a result of the development in Sweden with high demands on environmental protection and energy efficiency, Swedish companies have developed innovative solutions, experience and competence in the cleantech area. Export of this knowledge and technology is also quite successful, both in nearby countries and Europe, as well as in Asia, North and South America as well as Africa. The Swedish approach in terms of exporting the knowledge and technology is called SymbioCity.

Current Status of Projects in India
Kullman reveals that one of the main purposes of the so called ┬Delhi Biogas Project╩ is not only to showcase large scale biogas purification technology in India, but also to establish and get experience from project and business model possible to be duplicated in other areas of Delhi as well as other cities.

We have extensive relations with the cities mentioned above as well as other cities in primarily Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka and Maharashtra, where the experiences from the Delhi project - and possibly the business model set-up as well - can be used. The current status of the project itself is that - as agreed in the MoU signed - the Detailed Project Report (DPR) is under preparation and will be finalised within short. Based on the outcome of the DPR, a shareholders agreement between the parties (IGL, Bharat Forge and Delhi Jal Board) will be established. The project itself, together with the extensive collaboration in the field of WtE with other cities and partners in India, has also attracted a lot of interest in many levels.

The activities is based on an overall MoU between the two countries, involving Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), India and the Swedish Energy Agency as nodal points. It is obvious that the MNRE is appreciating these efforts, which is why Hon╩ble Minister Farooq Abdullah is planning to visit Sweden with a borad political and business delegation in the end of May 2012. The minister will, during his visit, also participate as keynote speaker at the World BioEnergy Conference in J÷nk÷ping, Sweden and also - together with the Swedish Minister of Energy, Ms Anna-Karin Hatt - inaugurate the Conference Exhibition.

Impact of Union Budget on Swedish Projects
The increase in the budget for water and sanitation in the Budget can only be welcome, and of course many Swedish companies working in this sector will have taken note of these changes. With regard to the changes in excise duty and service tax, currently a lot of the work being done in environment is focused on technology transfer. When Swedish environment companies enter India to increase their local presence and work jointly with Indian companies, they will be liable for the same tax obligations and like other companies here will be happy to comply.