With diminishing fossil energy resources and an emerging need to ensure increased energy efficiency in every operation and process, the Navy has adopted a comprehensive ‘Indian Navy Environment Conservation Roadmap (INECR)’ for synergising the aim of ‘Blue Water Operations with a Green Footprint’. The Ministry of Defence stated that the Indian Navy, as a self-driven and environmentally responsible force, has always been committed towards environment protection and green initiatives.
It further stated that as guardian of the seas, Navy employs a number of ships, submarines and aircrafts that have high energy intensity. The Navy’s concerted efforts of formulation and implementation of numerous policies aimed towards energy efficiency and environmental protection have yielded good results which are evident in all Naval establishments.
Among some of the noteworthy initiatives towards ‘Clean and Green Navy’, with all social distancing and COVID 19 protocols in-force, is one of its largest solar plant with a capacity of 3MW commissioned by the Indian Navy at Indian Naval Academy (INA), Ezhimala in July 2020. Another 2MW solar power plant was installed at Naval Station Karanja, Mumbai in July 2020. With this, the overall installed solar plant capacity at Naval Stations is 11 MW.
These plants are grid connected utilising the state of art single axis sun tracking technology with computerised monitoring & control. The installation of SPVs are in line with Navy’s objective of fulfilling Govt of India’s ‘Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM)’ mission. 30,000 saplings have been planted towards continuous afforestation, over the course of the preceding year to mitigate an estimated 630 tonnes of CO2 per year. Further, viability of setting up urban forests concepts such as Miyawaki forests, coastal afforestation including restoration of mangroves is being emphasised to match the theme of World Environment Day 2021- ‘Ecosystem Restoration’
A mangrove plantation drive was conducted by Southern Naval Command, Kochi in association with Kerala Forest Department along the Venduruthy channel on the occasion of ‘World River day’, in which approximately 200 saplings were planted. Headquarters, Southern Naval Command (HQSNC) with INS Venduruthy in the lead has always been engaged in the preservation of the environment and energy conservation which bestowed the station with the prestigious ‘Golden Peacock Environment Management Award (GPEMA) for the year 2020 in Government (Defence) sector.
As a part of the ‘Swachhta Sewa’ campaign, Naval stations carried out clean ship drives, clearing of storm/rainwater drains, pruning of hedges and maintenance of gardens. Also as a part of ‘International Coastal Clean-up Day’ celebrations, various Naval units undertook Coastal Clean-up Drives strictly adhering to COVID-19 protocol. The progressive adoption of Battery Operated E-Vehicles for transportation of men and material has marked the reduction of dependence on fossils fuels thus reducing carbon emissions. Further, to reduce dependence on fossil-fuel-based vehicles, units observe ‘No Vehicle Days’ regularly.
Towards combating oil-spill at Naval harbours, eco-friendly marine bio-remedial agents have been indigenously developed through NMRL. The state-of-the-art technology is unique in the maritime domain. The product consists of a combination of micro-organisms and their growth stimulant, which consume various types of oils such as diesel, lubricating, dirty oils etc, thus cleaning the seawater from any oil contamination and its consequent damage to the marine ecosystem. The technology has been inducted into the Indian Navy in June 2020.
With a view to reduce the overall carbon footprint and to bring down the effects of global warming, the Indian Navy is ‘Geared Up and Committed’ to march towards pursuance of Green Initiatives, realizing the national aim, to ensure a ‘Greener and Cleaner future for our next generations.