Tag Archives: policies


India has witnessed significant growth in renewable energy capacity addition in recent years. Some of the major policy interventions that have enabled this growth are:

National Solar Mission (2010): Launched with the aim to promote solar energy in India, the mission envisaged setting up ambitious targets for installation of grid-connected solar power projects. It aimed to create conditions for solar manufacturing capacity of 20,000 MW to be set up in India by 2022. This helped drive large-scale investments in solar energy.

Renewable Purchase Obligations (RPO) on Discoms (2010): Mandated utilities or discoms to purchase a certain percentage of total power from renewable sources each year. This created a guaranteed market for renewable power producers and promoted capacity addition. The RPO percentages have steadily increased over the years, presently standing at 21.5% by 2022.

Generation Based Incentive (2011): Introduced by Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) to promote wind and small hydro power. Provided financial assistance based on energy generated to project developers, helping improve project viability.

Viability Gap Funding (2011): MNRE scheme to offer support to renewable projects facing viability gaps, which prevented bankable and commercially successful projects from being shelved. Covered capital cost of projects and bridged viability gap.

Preferential Tariffs (2012): For solar and wind projects, the regulator CERC mandated preferential and fixed tariffs to be offered by state electricity boards for 25 years. This provided long term visibility to projects, making investments secure and improving overall sector risk perception.

Renewable Energy Certificates (REC) Mechanism (2011): A market-based instrument to promote renewable energy and facilitate RPO compliance. RECs are issued to eligible renewable energy producers from the grid-connected projects and an Electronic REC Registry certifies and tracks the RECs. This ensured a fixed market price for renewable producers.

Solar Park Scheme (2014): Encouraged development of large integrated solar manufacturing units by addressing common infrastructure challenges. Supported development of plug-and-play solar parks with necessary evacuation infrastructure. Many mega solar parks established under this helped achieve scale.

Sustainable Rinewable Energy Development Agency of Nagaland (SREDAN) (2015): Set up agency for renewable development in Nagaland. Since Nagaland has hydropower potential and natural resources, SREDAN addresses local barriers to implement off-grid projects and village electrification schemes.

Green Energy Corridor Project (2015): Established by Power Grid Corporation of India to facilitate grid integration of large renewable energy zones. Involved laying interstate transmission systems of over 7,500 circuit km to strengthen grid and support renewable capacity addition in various states.

Wind-Solar Hybrid Policy (2016): Promoted effectiveness and efficient use of renewable resources by allowing setting up of optimal hybrid projects utilizing technology synergy. Helped optimize total renewable penetration.

Renewable Purchase Obligations (RPO) Trajectory (2016): Ramped up RPO levels to facilitate acceleration of renewable capacity addition. Long term visibility and emphasis on meeting mounting RPO targets promoted continuous investments.

Floating Solar Policy (2018): Enabled development of solar projects on water bodies like reservoirs, lakes etc. Helped utilize untapped aquatic spaces. Many state policies also supported rooftop and canal-top solar deployment to boost distributed renewable capacity addition across India in the recent years.

Green Energy Corridor Phase II (2018): Approved for Rs. 10,000 crores to further establish inter-state transmission systems and strengthen grid integration of large renewable energy projects under development.

This concerted approach spanning policy design, market reforms, regulatory interventions and innovative fiscal or financial schemes helped India emerge as a global leader in developing renewable energy resources. It demonstrates how coherent strategies and long term commitments can drive sustainable development goals. India continues progressing on this mission to power its energy needs from clean sources.


The regulation of self-driving cars is an evolving area as the technology rapidly advances. Currently there are no fully standardized federal regulations for self-driving cars in the United States, but several federal agencies are involved in developing guidelines and policies. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has released voluntary guidance for manufacturers and is working to develop performance standards. They have also outlined a 5-level classification system for autonomous vehicle technology ranging from no automation to full automation.

At the state level, regulation differs across jurisdictions. Some states like California, Arizona, Michigan, and Florida have passed laws specifically related to the testing and operation of autonomous vehicles on public roads. Others are still determining how to address this new industry through legislation and policies. Most states are taking a phased regulatory approach based on NHTSA guidelines and are focused on monitoring how autonomous technology progresses before implementing comprehensive rules. Permit programs are also being established for companies to test self-driving vehicles in certain states.

One of the major challenges that regulators face is how to address liability when autonomous functions cause or are involved in a crash. Currently, it is unclear legally who or what would be responsible – the vehicle manufacturer, software maker, vehicle operator, or some combination. Some proposals seek to place initial liability on manufacturers/developers while the technology is new, while others argue liability should depend on each unique situation and blameworthiness. Regulators have not yet provided definitive answers, which creates uncertainty that could hamper development and adoption.

To address liability and safety concerns, manufacturers are strongly encouraged to implement design and testing processes that prioritize safety. They must show how autonomous systems are fail-safe and will transition control back to a human driver in an emergency. Black box data recorders and other oversight measures are also expected so crashes can be thoroughly investigated. Design standards may eventually specify mandatory driver monitoring, redundant technology backups, cybersecurity protections, and communication capabilities with other vehicles and infrastructure.

Beyond technical standards, policies aim to protect users, pedestrians and other drivers. Issues like who is considered the operator, and what their responsibilities are, need to be determined. Insurance guidelines are still being formed as risks are assessed – premiums may need to vary depending on vehicle automation levels and who is deemed at fault in different situations. Privacy protections for data collected during use must also be implemented.

Gradual approaches are preferred by most experts rather than imposing sweeping regulations too quickly before problems can be identified and addressed. Testing of early technologies under controlled conditions is encouraged before deploying to the wider public. Transparency and open communication between government, researchers and industry will help identify issues and produce the strongest policies. While full consensus on regulation has not emerged, continued discussions are helping outline best practices for this revolutionary transportation innovation to progress responsibly and maximize benefits to safety. State and federal policies aim to ensure appropriate oversight and mitigation of risks as self-driving car technology advances toward commercial availability.

Self-driving vehicle regulation and policies related to liability and safety are still an emerging framework without full standardization between jurisdictions. Through voluntary guidance, permits for testing, legislation in some states, and proposals addressing insurance, data and oversight, authorities are taking initial steps while further adoption unfolds. Future standards may establish clearer responsibilities, fail-safes and oversight, but regulators are still monitoring research and facing evolving technical challenges to produce comprehensive yet flexible solutions. Gradual, safe progress backed by transparency and collaboration form the central principles guiding this complex regulatory process for autonomous vehicles.


Nursing capstone projects conducted by students in their final year of Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) or Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) programs have great potential to add to the body of evidence that can inform practices, programs, and policies in the field. As a requirement for graduation, capstone projects allow students the opportunity to explore a topic of their choice related to nursing in significant depth through primary research. The results of these projects, when disseminated properly, can provide real-world data that can advance evidence-based practices in the profession.

There are several ways in which nursing student capstone projects can contribute valuable evidence. First, capstone topics frequently focus on implementing evidence-based interventions or programs on a small scale within the clinical settings where students complete their practicums. For example, a student may evaluate a new patient education approach, staff training protocol, discharge planning process, or care coordination model. If shown to achieve positive outcomes, these pilot programs demonstrated through capstone research could serve as models to be adopted more broadly within an organization or healthcare system. The projects essentially function as a low-risk testing ground for evidence-based innovations before wider implementation.

Secondly, many capstone projects examine patient outcomes related to existing nursing practices, treatments, or models of care. For instance, a student may study the efficacy of a particular treatment regimen for a certain diagnosis, postoperative recovery associated with different surgical approaches, or relationships between nursing interventions and complications. This type of outcomes research generated by capstones adds to the body of evidence informing decisions about clinical guidelines and standards of practice. It also helps identify areas where practices could be improved to achieve better results.

Some nursing students use their capstones as an opportunity to survey clinicians, patients, or other stakeholders to assess things like satisfaction with services, awareness of available resources, barriers to optimal care, and unmet needs. This feedback gathered through capstone research may point to gaps or weaknesses in existing programs that could be addressed through policy changes. It also provides a mechanism to evaluate the impact of previous changes. Results of surveys and needs assessments contribute important evidence to guide decisions about developing or modifying healthcare services, community resources, and support systems.

Capstone projects further assist with developing evidence to support advocacy and address larger systemic issues in healthcare. For example, a student may study disparities in access to services, social determinants of health in a population, impact of regulatory policies, allocation of resources, or gaps between guidelines and real-world practices. Research on this macro level through capstones sheds light on policy-level factors influencing outcomes and identifies areas for systemic improvements through legislative or regulatory action. It gives nursing students an opportunity to assume increased leadership roles as evidence-based advocates for their patients and profession.

As requirements for graduation, nursing capstones are formally evaluated which provides quality assurance that the resulting evidence is valid and methodologically rigorous. Students undergo an extensive process to design sound research proposals that are reviewed and approved by academic advisors with advanced research expertise. Capstones also integrate scientific writing standards to ensure findings are clearly communicated and data interpreted appropriately. The end products are therefore trustworthy contributions that healthcare organizations, clinical leaders, lawmakers, and other stakeholders can safely incorporate into decision making.

Nursing capstone projects represent a considerable untapped resource for generating valuable evidence to advance evidence-based practices, programs and policies in the profession. By giving students hands-on experiences implementing pilot programs, evaluating outcomes, assessing needs, and addressing broader systemic issues, capstones produce real-world data that can be used to guide continuous quality improvement across all levels of the increasingly complex healthcare system. With proper dissemination, the results of these student research projects have great potential to positively impact patient care and strengthen the nursing profession overall.


Extended producer responsibility (EPR) policies aim to make producers responsible for managing the waste from their products and packaging throughout the value chain. By shifting financial and management responsibility for end-of-life products to the manufacturers and importers, EPR policies provide strong incentives for producers to reduce waste and shift towards more sustainable product design. There are several examples from around the world that demonstrate how EPR policies have been effective in reducing plastic waste:

One of the most well-known successful EPR programs is Ontario’s Blue Box Recycling Program, which was introduced in Canada’s Ontario province in the 1980s. Under this policy, municipalities provide curbside collection of recyclable materials like plastic, glass and aluminum containers. The costs of collecting, sorting and reprocessing these materials are borne by producers through an industry funding organization called Stewardship Ontario. By shifting the financial responsibility away from municipalities and onto producers, the program stimulated packaging redesign towards recyclability and increased the recovery rates of valuable materials. Over the past 30 years, the program has led to consistent increases in diversion rates. It is estimated that between 86-90% of Blue Box materials are now diverted from landfills through recycling or composting.

Another notable EPR policy is Germany’s Green Dot program introduced in 1991. The Green Dot, or Grüner Punkt, trademark is licensed by Germany’s Duales System Deutschland (DSD) to packaging producers. License fees paid by companies to DSD are used to fund curbside collection and sorting of packaging waste. The program led to major changes in Germany’s recycling infrastructure through standardized collection and increased public awareness. By 2017, Germany’s recycling rate for plastic packaging was over 50%. Key to its success was the requirement that all packaging carry the Green Dot logo, providing producers full financial responsibility without exceptions. The scheme has since been replicated in many other European countries.

One of the earliest plastic bag-specific EPR policies was introduced by Ireland in 2002. Under this policy, retailers are required to charge customers for each plastic bag provided at checkout. The per-bag levy, which is paid by retailers to a state-approved Compliance Scheme, was originally €0.15 but increased to €0.25 in 2007. Revenues generated from the levy are used to fund reusable bag promotion campaigns and environmental projects like beach cleanups. The plastic bag levy resulted in Ireland achieving dramatic reductions – usage declined by over 90% within the first year. A 2016 review found single-use plastic bag consumption remained very low at 21 bags per person compared to an estimated 328 bags prior to the levy.

California became the first state in the U.S. to implement an EPR policy for packaging when its Used Mattress Recovery and Recycling Act took effect in 2016. Under the law, mattress producers are required to develop and implement stewardship plans approved by state regulators. The plans outline how each brand will finance and provide for free mattress recycling services statewide through approved third parties. In just the first few years, the mattress recycling rate increased to over 80% as producers supported convenient collection infrastructure. The success indicates individual producer responsibility models can work effectively in the North American context when regulations mandate measurable goals and transparency.

These highlighted programs provide real-world examples of how EPR policies have significantly reduced plastic waste and changed consumer behavior when the financial burden is placed on producers versus taxpayers or municipalities. Key factors contributing to their success include full producer funding and involvement in waste management systems, sustained or increasing costs borne by producers tied to the volume of products put on the market, standardization that increases collection convenience, and measurability through set targets and reporting requirements. Looking to the future, EPR presents a promising policy approach with potential for even broader application to other problematic plastic items if designed and implemented comprehensively with the right incentives and oversight structure in place. These case studies demonstrate extended producer responsibility can deliver impressive reductions in plastic pollution when implemented successfully.


Governments around the world implement a wide variety of policies to promote the development and adoption of renewable energy technologies. The goals of these policies are to reduce reliance on fossil fuels, cut carbon emissions that cause climate change, improve energy security by diversifying energy sources, and stimulate economic growth in the renewable energy industry. Some of the key policy mechanisms governments use include regulatory standards, financial incentives, public investments, and international cooperation.

Regulatory standards are a major policy tool used by many governments. Renewable portfolio standards require electricity providers to obtain a minimum percentage of power from renewable sources each year. Feed-in tariffs guarantee renewable energy producers a set purchase price for the electricity they generate, providing long-term revenue certainty to support project development. Net metering policies allow customers who generate their own renewable energy to receive credit for excess power sent back to the grid. Biofuel blending mandates require gasoline and diesel to contain a minimum amount of biofuels. These standards create guaranteed demand for renewable technologies and help them to scale up and gain cost competitiveness.

Financial incentives are another vital policy approach to make renewable energy investments more attractive. Tax credits lower the cost of developing, constructing, and operating renewable projects. For example, the US federal tax credit for utility-scale solar and wind projects lowers costs by around 30%. Government grants provide upfront capital to demonstrate and prove emerging technologies. Low-interest loans help fund renewable projects. Rebates on the purchase of renewable energy systems like solar panels or heat pumps for homes and businesses also stimulate demand. Property Assessed Clean Energy programs allow customers to finance renewable upgrades through property taxes with no upfront costs. Together, these various incentives make projects financially worthwhile sooner.

Public investments in research, development, and demonstration projects are important for advancing renewable technologies down the cost curve. National governments and international bodies like the EU fund research at universities and national labs into new materials, production methods, energy storage solutions, and more to optimize technologies. Pilot and demonstration projects are deployed to prove technical performance at larger scales. Direct government investment accelerates technology learning and commercialization that the private sector may be reluctant to undertake due to high risks. This early stage R&D support is complemented by private sector investments as technologies mature.

Many governments promote renewable energy trade and cooperation to share innovation. International groups like Mission Innovation and the International Renewable Energy Agency organize collaborative projects among nations. Bilateral partnerships support joint research on issues like connected power grids and offshore wind. Government initiatives accelerate the development and diffusion of the most promising low-carbon technologies worldwide. International trade agreements also facilitate commerce in renewable technology goods to expand global markets and economies of scale.

If implemented comprehensively and sustained over the long run, these policies successfully drive renewable energy development according to independent analyses. Regulatory standards provide guaranteed demand to support scaled-up investments. Financial incentives overcome higher initial costs that impede market adoption. Public R&D accelerates technological progress. And international collaboration maximizes these efforts. As a result, renewable energy use has grown rapidly around the world in recent decades according to official forecasts and outlooks from groups like IEA and IRENA. With continued strong policy and market support, the share of power from renewable sources is projected to continue rising substantially in the decades ahead as these technologies progress down the learning curve. Effective policy action is vital to transition energy systems towards a sustainable low-carbon future.