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University of Iowa uses grass as renewable energy source

Grass in coal plants. Biomass for energy is carbon neutral, provides income to farmers, if only it could substitute coal burning economically!
Humanity has optimized crop production for food. But when biomass energy becomes economically feasible, a new form of agriculture will enable both reduced pollution and improved incomes for the farmer. A worthwhile enough possibility to throw in a few hundred crores of R&D into.



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Qatar to increase renewable energy capacity to 20%

Why would a petroleum rich country with low population and close to the sea want to invest in solar technology?
Qatar does not need to invest in solar either due to lack of petroleum, or due to pollution. When Qatar or even Saudi Arabia start to take up solar energy it simply shows, that renewables are the new convention in energy.



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Global pension funds warm to India's solar power ambitions

There is a lot of investment waiting to set up solar plants, large global players and small local entrepreneurs. If only India’s electricity companies were more active.
The greatest advantage of solar and wind power is very low economies of scale. Therefore anyone can set up an efficient plant, you don’t need large scales. What is slowing down more rapid expansion is the reluctance of electricity boards to pay for the power in time.  
Government Actions this week



Government Actions this week


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AAP govt asks schools to install air purifiers

Sombre news from Delhi, pollution in Delhi has not reduced but become invisible this summer. Children are being harmed the most.
A desperate government has asked schools to put up air purifiers in the classrooms. Of course with leaky windows and large classrooms overall effectiveness will be limited. But is something better than nothing in this case?  



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Delhi's air quality may improve as UP, Haryana, Punjab take steps to discou

Finally sensible policy from Punjab. Instead of focusing on banning stubble burning the new government is creating the right incentives.
In the short run the strategy of subsidizing machinery that collects stubble, or plants seeds despite presence of stubble, may seem expensive. But it will pay off economically and socially much more than simply banning crop burning.  
 



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Government aims at replacing petrol/diesel cars with electric cars by 2030


This is doubtlessly more disruptive than even demonetization, with Piyush Goyal calling for an electric vehicles only India within a dozen odd years.
Is it possible to go completely electric within 12 odd years? It would be possible because by then batteries would have gotten lighter, cheaper and more efficient. But how would Mr Piyush Goyal neutralize the lobbies, public and private, that would fight hard against such disruption?
 



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Andhra Pradesh refrains from setting up new thermal power plants till 2022

Andhra Pradesh has already taken a rather brave decision of not putting up any new thermal power plants for the next 5 years.
A combination of subsidies, private sector interest and moral suasion from the centre is contributing to high growth of the Indian renewable sector. But states could achieve more if they got their electricity boards in order.  
 



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Maharashtra starts process to replace old thermal plants with supercritical

Maharashtra is thinking of replacing its ageing and polluting coal plants with new more efficient supercritical coal plants. Bad idea.
All who set up these new plants claim that they are far less polluting, and indeed if they are going to function efficiently and also sequester carbon below the surface, they could be considered relatively clean. But that’s not the case in India, the public sector coal plant rarely has the equipment or is efficiently running.
 



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NLC drops power project in Sirkali, plans supercritical lignite-fired plant

Neyveli Lignite Corporation is planning supercritical lignite fired plants using lignite from its own mines.
Coal and lignite will be unable to withstand the tsunami of technological changes that are reducing renewable prices. While they may put up new plants, what will the large coal sector do a decade later? The government needs to plan for a long term exit from coal starting now.



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Clean Coal Technologies | Carbon Capture and Storage

A technical but readable discussion on what is clean coal. Good to know that even clean coal has high costs.
One of the biggest problems in the energy sector is the limited information on the various costs of coal in the public domain. The bulk of the information is put together by biased authors. Even this one may be!



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If India Meets Renewables Target, No Coal Power Needed Till 2027

If India were to put up renewable energy capacity as per its target, it would need no additional thermal energy for long. 
But some want to slow down renewable energy expansion so that more established thermal power can grow. It is not an easy call, because solar has its own problems. The best solution is to let the market decide best way forward.  


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