World Environment Day 2021: Indian Navy – Blue Water Operations with Green Footprint
The Navy, as a self-driven and environmentally responsible force, has always been committed towards environment protection and green initiatives. As guardian of the seas, Navy employs a number of ships, submarines and aircrafts that have high energy intensity. With diminishing fossil energy resources there is an emerging need to ensure increased energy efficiency in every operation and process the Navy undertakes. Towards the same, 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 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. Some of the noteworthy initiatives towards ‘Clean and Green Navy’, with all social distancing/ COVID 19 protocols in-force, is elaborated in succeeding paragraphs.
Indian Navy commissioned one of its largest solar plant with a capacity of 3MW 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 / 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. 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 ‘Swachhta Sewa’ campaign, Naval stations carried out cleanship 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 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, 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’.