Andhra Pradesh's approach to sustainability encompasses green energy, sustainable agriculture, urban development, sustainable forests, green industries and other mechanisms for sustainable development. AP began strengthening its focus on social infrastructure in accordance with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Climate Change.
Ensuring growth and development requires a huge increase in energy consumption and it is thus the priority of the Government of Andhra Pradesh to ensure a sustainable growth scenario through the Green Energy initiative. The primary focus areas of the state are solid and liquid waste management, clean and efficient energy generation and use systems, efficient public transport and disaster re-silience.
Some of the policies, implemented in A.P. to achieve sustainable development are "Solar Power Policy – 2015" to encourage generation of electricity through solar energy, a resource that is abundant and largely untapped, "Andhra Pradesh Wind Power Policy-2015" to encourage, develop and promote wind power generation in the State with a view to meet the growing demand for power in an environmentally and economically sustainable manner. "State Energy Conservation Mission" has been implemented since 2012 with the aim of promoting awareness about energy conservation and to encourage adoption of initiatives for energy conservation.
The initiatives taken by Government of Andhra Pradesh for sustainable development are:
- Green Energy Initiative: A capacity of 2,800 MW has been added in the non-conventional sector so far. World’s largest solar park will be commissioned in Kurnool district during 2017. Four more Solar Parks with a capacity of 1,000 MW each will be completed by 2018-19. The State will achieve a capacity of 5,000 MW from wind by 2018-19.
- Energy Efficiency: The World Bank has ranked Andhra Pradesh as No.1 State in the Country in "Energy Efficiency Implementation Readiness” and has received Energy Conservation Award- 2016 from Government of India. The State has distributed around 2 crore LED bulbs to the domestic households, around 5.5 lakh conventional street lights are replaced with LEDs, energy efficient fans are being distributed in the State to the households.. All the inefficient agriculture pump sets of around 12 lakh will be replaced with energy efficient/solar pump sets during the next three years.
- Waste to Energy Plants: As part of Solid Waste Management initiative, 10 Waste to Energy Plants are being developed which would treat about 4471 tonnes of waste per day and will generate about 63 MW power. Efforts are being made to commission 6 Waste-to-Energy plants during 2017-18.
- Solid Waste Management Urban: The sewerage system is to be developed in 11 cities in the State having sewage treatment capacity of about 539 MLD. Solid waste management is being done. Through MGNREGA, with zero wastage, the government is concentrating on water storage ponds, cc roads, minor irrigation tank works, irrigation channels, approach roads, horticulture, new cattle ponds, individual toilets, trenches, water harvesting structures, and vermicompost. The state is the best in the implementation of MGNREGA.
- Solid Waste Management Rural: SWM process in all the 12,920 Gram Panchayats(GP's) is initiated. SWM process started in 659 GP's in the year 2015-16 and in year 2016-17, 1000 GP's have been sanctioned. Balance GP's to be taken up are 11,261.
Improve Forest Cover: Andhra Pradesh became the 8th largest state in India (geographical area wise) with an area of 162.91 lakh Ha after the Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Act, 2014. Andhra Pradesh has 36.91 lakh Ha notified forest land, which is 22.64% of the Geographical area. To achieve the target of 50% Green cover by 2029, afforest ration measures are being implemented effectively through Vanam Manam & Neeru Chettu Programs and most of the works are being done under MNREGS.
- Inventory of GHG Emissions: Andhra Pradesh is the first state in India to have come up with a GHG Emission Inventory. The study identified the key sectors of priority in terms of GHG emissions, policy options for mitigating GHG emissions in each of the sectors and sources of emissions.