Varied interests in the energy and power sector viz., CDM, carbon rating, Monitoring & Evaluation, Energy Management, Rural Development; Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy related matters; Demand Side Management (DSM), Energy Audits, Distributed Power Generation (Biomass, Wind,Solar and Small Hydro), Participatory Management.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Bollywood atlast joins hands to light up villages!

Bollywood join hands to light up villages Reuters
Posted online: Thursday , July 17, 2008 at 1303 hrs

Mumbai, July 17:: Bollywood stars are teaming up with a renowned climate change scientist to help brighten the lives of a billion people through a project that aims to provide 200,000 villages with electricity for the first time.

Bollywood icon Amitabh Bachchan and others from the Indian film industry will help raise money for the Lighting a Billion Lives campaign through proceeds of their "Unforgettable" concert tour of North America and Europe.

"The Indian film industry, and in particular Mr Bachchan, has a massive fan following and their involvement in such causes can be a powerful instrument for social transformation," Rajendra Pachauri, head of the Nobel Prize-winning U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, told Reuters in an email.

Revenues from the Bollywood tour, which starts in Toronto this Friday, would help provide electric lanterns to some 100 villages, he added.

By February, the campaign, an initiative of The Energy and Resources Institute which Pachauri heads, aims to replace hazardous kerosene and paraffin lanterns with solar-powered devices in 200,000 villages in India, Pakistan, Maldives, Myanmar, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Ghana, Malawi and Cambodia.

"This will facilitate education of children; provide better illumination and a kerosene-smoke-free indoor environment," the campaign website ( said.

Pachauri, whose panel shared the Nobel peace prize last year with former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, said at least 1.6 billion people worldwide do not have access to electricity, and that 25 percent of them were in India.

For Bollywood stars such as Preity Zinta, contributing to the campaign is one of the perks of being a celebrity.

"You go out there because you get paid for it, because it's your job. But to make something like this part of your job, it just makes you feel good about your karma," the 33-year-old actress said. "It doesn't take too much money to light a village."

Gopinath S
9180 2669 8211
+91 99161 29728

Thursday, July 17, 2008


Eagle's Eye: Answers to India 's energy crisis?


India should concentrate on generation of power by solar, wind, biomass and small-hydel resources, opines Dr Rahul Pandey

The recently concluded G8 summit in Japan placed rising fuel and food prices, besides climate change, at the top of its agenda. While fuel crisis is enough to stoke panic, it has also partly induced the food crisis due to both high fuel cost of producing and transporting food as well vast bio-fuel cultivation in the West. With unabatedly rising price of oil and uncertainty about its reserves, energy security is today every nation's concern.

This also reflects in the desperation with which the Indian government is pushing ahead nuclear deal with the US. These developments raise some critical questions:

- Can energy policy deliver both energy security and climate change mitigation goals?

- Is nuclear energy the main alternative to fossil fuels? How competitive can renewable energy options become?

- Can the poor have access to modern energy services?

Here I attempt to answer these questions for India in light of current and prospective international trends in technologies, investments and policy. The general arguments hold good also for other countries facing similar uncertain energy future.

We are today in a historical phase in which major global trends in economy, technology, fuel and environment are showing an interesting convergence. New styles of businesses have made customer responsiveness very important for suppliers and service providers. This means efficient supply chain-wide delivery, rather than just a single link like production, is strategically critical. Greater investments are being pumped in development of technologies that are smaller scale and mass-assembled rather than large scale and centrally installed. Fossil fuels are becoming scarcer. The concerns of climate change globally and of domestic pollutions in developing countries have never been more severe. All these trends are reinforcing each other and driving a radical shift in economics of several industries.

Let us look at what they foretell for energy. In the remaining paragraphs I will first lay out the goals of energy policy, then review global trends of energy technologies and fuels, and finally outline the desired policy for India.

The right energy policy for a nation must aim to satisfy energy needs of current and future generations of all citizens in an affordable manner without adverse impact on the environment. As explained earlier, in today's world, mere domestic availability of a particular fuel may not ensure access of modern energy services to all. A nation requires a range of resources in the entire energy supply chains--primary energy, financial capital, material and human capabilities for development and manufacture of relevant technological systems, and logistical infrastructure for delivery--to make available useful energy to its citizens at affordable costs over a long period of time.

Bright prospects are lurking globally for rennewable energy as centralized conventional technologies are declining, natural gas faces uncertainty beyond the next 2-3 decades, and environmental concerns are intensifying.

Prominent EU countries and Japan have already begun serious initiatives to transition to low-carbon society by 2050 for which the state is providing support to large scale development and commercialization of renewable energy technologies. Thanks to rapid increase in R&D investments and installed cumulative capacity globally, renewable energy systems based on wind, solar and biomass are witnessing high learning rates as reflected in progress ratios of 70-90% (implying 10-30% fall in capital costs for every doubling of capacity). As most of these systems are viable at small scale, they hold promise also for the rural and remote regions of developing countries where majority of the poor live. It is clear that the countries who are making serious investment in technological and delivery infrastructure aspects of such options now will gain distinct advantage in the future. They will be able to deliver cheaper and cleaner energy to their people.

On the other hand, conventional large-scale options based on coal, nuclear and large hydro are facing declining trends and saturating costs. For instance, over the past two decades share of coal in electricity generation markets of North America , Europe and former USSR has eroded by 20-40% in favour of natural gas and, to some extent, renewables. Similar erosion has happened to big dams as they have imposed severe costs on local communities and environment everywhere. As for the nuclear power, its poor cost competitiveness has been demonstrated in the case of Indian heavy water reactors. No new nuclear power capacity has been installed in the US for the past three decades owing mainly to unresolved problems of nuclear waste handling and high costs. This is despite the billions of dollars received as subsidy through the Price Anderson Act. Given the high capital intensity and long life of nuclear power plants, India (or any other country) will be locking itself to huge resource commitments for the future if it pushes ahead with its ongoing nuclear enthusiasm. Needless to say, these commitments will deter us from exploring superior alternatives.

Clean coal technologies are being explored as cleaner alternatives, but their high capital cost and longer term uncertainty of coal reserves make them a candidate for temporary solution alone. Same goes for natural gas based options that have low capital cost but suffer from uncertain future gas prices. Fuel cell, run on hydrogen produced from natural gas and other alternatives, is likely to emerge as a competitive option in both transport and power sectors. Like renewable energy systems, they too will be viable at small, decentralized scale.

In the final analysis, energy policy aimed at long term affordability, clean environment, sustainability and security must be centered on a wide mix of renewable energy options -- solar, wind, small-hydel, biomass and others. Wide mix of renewables is necessary to ensure reliability of supplies and avoid possible fallout of dependence on single option like biofuels. Therefore, to begin with, India must change its energy strategy towards one that places the highest priority on renewable energy by committing huge resources for up-scaling infrastructure for manufacture and supply of technologies for production of electricity, heat and other end-use energy from solar, wind, biomass and small-hydel resources. In addition, state support must be provided to build dispersed infrastructure in rural areas for delivery and maintenance of these systems. Systems based on clean coal and natural gas, given their current domestic availability and low capital cost respectively, can play stopgap role in the transitory phase until delivery infrastructure based on renewables is put in place.

In addition to changing energy supply mix, drastic end-use and life-style changes that cut down energy use will be necessary. Examples are: new urban planning with homes closer to offices, excess public transport capacities, and promotion of local markets and local materials to avoid long distance transport. But these changes cannot come by market economics alone. Governments need to intervene now to make them economically attractive in the future.

Gopinath S
9180 2669 8211
+91 99161 29728

Thursday, July 10, 2008


Solar Lanterns to light up Indian Villages

'3 cr solar lanterns to light up villages'
9 Jul 2008, 0528 hrs IST, Ramu Bhagwat,TNN

NAGPUR: With electricity yet to reach 50% villages in the country, solar lanterns could be the answer to lighting needs of our villages. Union minister for new and renewable energy Vilas Muttemwar has mooted a plan by which a massive subsidy of Rs 39,000 crore on kerosene can be saved by switching over to solar lamps.

"The kerosene supplied through PDS is mainly used for lighting purpose. While its actual cost is Rs 39 per litre, it is sold at a subsidised rate of Rs 9. But unfortunately, there is a massive leakage in the system and a large amount of the subsidised fuel finds way to blackmarket and to wrong hands instead of the poor villager," he said.

"Use of kerosene in lamps is not as per climate change mitigation policy. At a recent energy co-ordination committee headed by prime minister Manmohan Singh, I have suggested that kerosene subsidy be phased out at 20 per cent a year and the money saved could be used to fund solar lanterns. This way the government can meet its mandate to cut subsidy," Muttemwar told TOI.
"We will need around two crore solar lamps a year and manufacturers are ready to supply the quantity," added Muttemwar.

The minister has also asked all chief ministers to initiate measures to increase generation of non-conventional energy. Latest technological developments have made solar power generation less expensive. The per MW cost of generation which was high as 40,000 crore has now come down to Rs 18,000 crore. The initial capital may be high but recurring cost is less and solar plants have less gestation period.

Thermal power has huge ecological implications too and as compared solar power is clean. Each state by shifting to solar power to the tune of 200MW can also earn carbon credits of Rs 32 crore under the clean development mechanism.

A ten-year subsidy scheme for solar generation is attracting good response from states, said Muttemwar. Under it, applications have been received for a total 2000 MW generation.

While for solar photo voltaic cells the subsidy is Rs 12 per unit, for the solar thermal power it is Rs 10 Rajasthan is leading in the endeavour with plans to produce 600 MW of solar power, said Muttemwar.


Friday, July 04, 2008


Hybrid Vehicles

The logic of hybrid vehicles

The best way to manage the transport sector’s fuel demand is to encourage hybrids and invest more in mass transport systems, so that own vehicles are used sparingly.

Vehicles that do not depend on conventional fuels — including the new version of India’s electric car Reva, recently launched in Delhi — have been around for a while, but they have now become more relevant than ever before. Petroleum prices are going through the roof and, while speculators may have played a part in this spike, one might as well accept that the days of cheap oil are over. Transport accounts for a little over a fourth of world energy deman d, but this share could swell with the automobile boom in such emerging economies as India and China, and the growing role of trade in the world economy. Road transport accounts for 80 per cent of the total energy demand of the transportation sector; and light duty vehicles account for 50 per cent of the sector’s needs. The remaining 20 per cent is shared by air, rail and marine transport.

Since the transport sector relies more on petrol and diesel than the residential and commercial sectors, it makes sense to seek out alternatives to petroleum, particularly in economies such as India, whose rapid growth is being threatened by rising oil prices. Fuel demand should be checked for environmental reasons as well: India accounts for 4.6 per cent of the world’s carbon emissions and is ranked fifth in this respect after the US, China, Russia and Japan. Electric and hybrid cars (those that run on petrol/diesel and electricity) should become a feature of India’s landscape sooner rather than later. Electric cars can either run on batteries or as hydrogen-propelled vehicles. The trouble with electricity is that it is difficult to store; a battery-operated car runs for just 80 km. Despite R&D efforts, there have been no breakthroughs in this regard.

As for hydrogen, it has a low energy density compared to petrol and therefore has to be stored in larger quantities. While carbon emissions from a hydrogen-powered vehicle are zero, the process as a whole can be considered clean only if the electricity required to produce hydrogen is, in turn, generated through renewable means. This is a tall order, as even the best efforts to shift to renewable technologies, including nuclear energy, will not yield substantial results for a decade or so. In view of the limitations of battery-driven and hydrogen-run vehicles, the best way to manage the transport sector’s fuel demand is to encourage hybrids — by using batteries, they end up 50 per cent more fuel-efficient than their conventional counterparts. Besides, the government should also encourage investment in mass transport systems, so that people use their own vehicles sparingly.


Thursday, July 03, 2008


Traffic Woes in Bangalore city

Common occurrences that cause traffic jams or holdups in Bangalore:

1. Buses improperly parked at the bus stops
2. Vehicles stranded/parked on the roads due to some reason
3. Pedestrians trying to cross the road anytime anywhere
4. Pedestrians blocking the roads while waiting for the green signal
5. Vehicles plying at perpendicular direction on major roads to get into some cross roads
6. Vehicles taking u turns
7. Animals standing/sitting in the middle of the road
8. Vehicles trying to avoid pot holes/speed breakers/uneven road surfaces
9. Storm water drains overflowing
10. Roads narrowing in between
11. School children crossing the road
12. Traffic flow from cross roads
13. Uprooted trees/falling branches obstructing traffic
14. Religious processions
15. Morchas/dharnas
16. Hearse procession
17. VIP movement/convoy
18. Heavy rain fall
19. Water logging on the roads due to rain or otherwise
20. Peak load traffic
21. Traffic diversions
22. Infrastructure development works (like metro, subways, under pass) in progress
23. Manned/unmanned railway crossing
24. Road accidents
25. Road repairs/widening
26. Storm water drain repairs/widening
27. Heavy slabs/cobbled stones at kerb or median obstructing traffic
28. Building construction materials dumped on the road
29. Building construction equipment like tractors or ready cement trucks blocking the roads
30. Buses stopping at scheduled bus stops (on the road and not at the kerb)
31. Some driving slow due to reasons like talking on mobile, learning, looking around
32. Bold pedestrians crossing the road (not at traffic signals!) in between the traffic flow
33. Pedestrians waiting at the traffic signals almost half way through
34. Vehicles crossing lanes to get ahead of traffic
35. Vehicles plying on the wrong side of the road blocking the incoming traffic


India carbon credit market

`India enjoys low-cost edge in carbon market`

Newswire18 / Mumbai July 02, 2008, 0:11 IST

India has an advantage in the global carbon market because the investments required are relatively small due to lower input costs, Pamposh Bhat, director, climate change, GTZ CDM-India, said.

"Thus, we can earn revenue at global rates after making investments in Indian rupee terms," she said.

GTZ CDM-India is a bilateral programme of Germany and India implemented through Bureau of Energy Efficiency of India and German Technical Corp.The agency has tied up with Central Electricity Authority, National CDM Authority, central and state governments, and public and private firms to develop the Indian carbon market.

According to Bhat, it is a blessing in disguise for Indian firms that many developed countries, in their search for cheap and risk-free credits, chose not to invest in India.

"So, Indian companies invested their own money into projects and this has enabled them to reap the benefits of higher prices via bilateral agreements when prices rose," she said.

The good track record of Indian firms in delivering credible certified emission reductions (CERs) or carbon credits have also ensured that Indian CERs get high prices globally.

Indian scene

Bhat estimates the investments in Indian clean development mechanisms (CDMs) at nearly Rs 1.06 lakh crore until now and expects them to rise.

"India has consolidated its leadership position in terms of host country-approved CDM projects. Till date, 969 projects have got the government's approval. The estimated CER volume reaches 492 million (until 2012) if they successfully register at UNFCCC (UN Framework Convention on Climate Change)," she said.

India is also the global leader in terms of registered projects with a total of 346 projects. CERs have already been issued to 225 projects.

The majority of registered projects in India are renewable energy projects focusing on hydro power and wind energy.

Bhat said that despite China having higher CERs due to large number of hydrofluoro carbon reduction projects, the concept has caught on better in India than in China.

"Even Indian companies like SRF and Gujarat Fluorochemicals have earned high number of credits due to HFC reduction projects. It is unlikely that approvals for such projects will continue post-2012, though China has been pushing for it," she said.

For reducing every 1 tonne of HFC, 11,700 CERs are issued as compared to one CER issued when 1 tonne of carbon is reduced.

Gold-rush mentality

Bhat warned against the "gold rush" like behaviour of some market participants and said project stakeholders should be careful when selecting project participants and consultants.

She also said that such a mentality could lead to faulty or incomplete project reports being submitted, which will lead to delays in approvals and validations and run a high risk of being rejected by UNFCCC.

"If the period between host approval and submission of validation report is too long, it leads to concerns over the real benefits of the project, which can even lead to rejection by the UN CDM Executive Board."

In the pipeline

Programmatic clean development mechanisms that involve emission reduction for mass-based programmes hold great opportunity for Indian small and medium enterprises, said Bhat.

"Programmatic CDMs will be the major vehicles for attracting SMEs to the potential revenue that can be earned by way of carbon credits by reducing emission," she said.

Another norm being worked on is setting a baseline emission per sector, which will lead to automated approvals for those projects below the base line.

Bhat believes that each individual has a moral responsibility to cut greenhouse gas emission, and CDM provides the opportunity to earn revenue while doing that.

"Climate change is the biggest challenge faced by humanity and with CDM we can try and tackle this issue," Bhat said.