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Initiatives

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Indian solar entrepreneur relishes challenge of 300 days of sun

This young solar power entrepreneur has built one of India’s most dynamic solar power business.
Built in less than a decade through both entrepreneurial energy and government support, the question is whether the growth can be sustained. Dependence on subsidies is never good. Somehow the energy gets lost when subsidies are removed. And that is not good for energy sector. Great entrepreneurs are not created in highly subsidized regimes.



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Sempra VP says 100% renewable grid is possible

Californian Utility tells coal power plants, it can now manage 24x7 power supply only through renewable sources.
How is that possible? Are not renewable power sources concentrated only for a few hot days? However, for Sempra using different sources and with rapidly falling battery costs, it is now possible to use non-fossil fuels.



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Coal Country’s Power Plants Are Turning Away From Coal

West Virginia’s leading electric utility is investing heavily in solar and reducing the use of Coal. The state is Americas leading coal producer.
Politically, and I am sure mining industry dismay notwithstanding, Appalachian power is doing something that NTPC should be doing i.e., changing its portfolio of energy sources. Survival of energy companies rests on this move.



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Chinese company to train U.S. coal miners for wind energy

Falling demand and rising mechanization has led to thousands of jobless miners in Wyoming. But a Chinese firm is helping them become wind-farm engineers.
Wyoming is Americas largest coal producer, falling coal demand has resulted in mining companies mechanizing rapidly to cut costs, but jobs are being lost. Many miners are retraining to find employment in the renewable sector, this time with Chinese help.



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Tesla’s solar roof tiles are already sold out well into 2018

Tesla’s promise of 30 year energy generation and lifetime warranty sells its solar tiles well into 2018, even before introduction!
When a good promise is backed by a strong technical reputation, wonders happen. Tesla used all of this to successfully enter a space long dominated by relatively low cost Chinese manufacturers. Its order books are full for a product at the top-end of the solar power generation spectrum.



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Big solar farms may be stressing agricultural ecosystem

Solar does have its costs as well. Its need for large amount of land will impact agriculture.
The article does not consider it, but even the waste land in India is used by draught animals. Is that a serious cost of solar power, yes it is, and it should be incorporated in its costs, not a subsidized or false price.



Government Actions this week


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Study soon on power generation from falls

Karnataka is studying whether renewable energy from waterfalls and minor irrigation projects are financially feasible.
This may seem too little, after all what proportion of total energy required can be generated by this method. However, still it is a positive move and a comprehensive logging of potential sites will also motivate appropriate technological improvement.



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Renewable Energy Jobs Reach 10 Million Worldwide

According to international agency renewable energy has led to 1 crore jobs globally, which is expected to increase to 3 crores by 2030.
With sensible policy more is possible in India itself. Renewables generate large number of jobs, and are a great opportunity for the millions unemployed globally. Biomass energy can potentially single-handedly surpass that figure.



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Solar Energy Leads to India Canceling Mega Coal Power Stations

A global agency says India has cancelled close to 14GW of coal fired power plants recently.
The Indian government did not report this, but a known global energy advisory seems to be quite convinced of its veracity. We don’t know whether this decision is currently at the informal level or has already been taken. Either way, if true, it is a huge leap of faith for India.



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China Activates World's Largest Floating Solar Power Plant

China now has a large solar power facility on top of a lake over an unused coal bed. Talk about environmental friendliness.
Higher moisture and reduced temperatures around water help improve solar power generation efficiency. It also helps reduce water evaporation. India also tried it over canals.



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Pro-coal Newman and Palaszczuk regimes blamed for $45 million solar failure

Massive solar power facility fails in Australia, and some blame inherent flaws in Solar. India will face the same blame game very soon.
When one of Australia’s largest solar facility failed, many blamed solar technology. Conventional energy incumbents have many friends in utilities, who delay payments to renewable energy providers. This will happen in India as well, where public sector controls most of the energy sector, and its mangers and bureaucrats control the regulatory positions.



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