New Delhi: The World Environment Day on 5 June marks 3 years of the Green Initiatives Drive of Indian Navy. The past 3 years have seen a unified approach by rank and file in Indian Navy towards pursuance of green goals. The energy optimisation measures in the Indian Navy cover its entire spectrum: operations, infrastructure and maintenance. The Navy is making concerted efforts to reduce energy use (both electricity and fuel) through self-driven conservation measures.
In addition to smart LED street lighting in naval stations, conventional lighting on operational platforms is also progressively migrating to LED lighting, which signifies the scope of policy outreach. Further, fuel optimisation measures have been enforced onboard ships without compromising on the operational tempo.
With innovation driving military technology, a maiden attempt has been made towards using of renewable energy onboard a naval platform, with solar panels fitted on top of the Helo Hangar of one of the ships towards producing electricity for battery charging.
The key result areas of energy conservation, diversification of energy supply and minimising environment impact are in line with the national mission of ‘Reducing Import Dependency in Energy’ and the tenets of the country’s ‘Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC)’ as part of climate change goals. In accordance with the National Mission of Mega Watt to Giga Watt to achieve the target of 100 GW solar PV installation by 2022, Indian Navy is contributing with a target of 19 MW solar PV, by 2018, in 3 phases.
Furthermore, Indian Navy has pledged 1.5% of its works budget, towards renewable energy generation. Under this programme, solar PV projects are being undertaken in naval stations across all commands. Naval stations, with the scarce available land, have resorted to the innovative idea of deploying rooftop solar PV panels, to harness the solar energy.
The initiatives taken in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan’ across various naval establishments have also started yielding tangible results. Navy’s bio-degradable waste and biogas plants are generating 5,600 kg of manure, 450 kg biogas (methane), which is being used in lieu of LPG, using organic waste converters. Considering the positive impact of afforestation, the Navy has planted over 14,000 saplings over the course of the preceding year. The naval personnel are nurturing these so as to mitigate an estimated 284 tonnes of CO2.
There is an impetus on ensuring that pollution is kept minimal in our harbours and seas. The Navy has installed effluent treatment plants to neutralise toxic wastes prior to their discharge. It uses oil skimmers, floatsam collection and disposal through sullage barges and induction of equipment, which enables compliance to IMO norms though not mandated for the men-of-war.
The World Environment Day 2017, with the theme of ‘Connecting People to Nature’ further gives an opportunity to all to join hands and consolidate our efforts in pursuit of care for the environment.