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Analysis: India likely to far exceed emissions intensity target



The Indian Government is likely to overachieve its 2030 climate intensity target without having to implement any new policies, the Climate Action Tracker (CAT) said today.

In its climate plan (INDC), submitted to the UN late last week, India has stated it would reduce the emissions intensity of its economy by 33­–35% below 2005 levels by 2030 and increase the share of its non-fossil energy power generation capacity to 40% by the same date.

With the policies it currently has in place, including its already-announced target of 175 GW of renewable energy by 2022, the CAT estimates India would achieve an around 41.5%  reduction in emissions intensity of GDP by 2030 – exceeding its new target.  The 175 GW of renewable energy by 2022 already gets the share of non-fossil capacity to 36% by 2030.

Achieving its stated 40% share of non-fossil capacity by 2030 would also mean India would exceed the intensity target by an even wider margin – an energy intensity reduction of 41–44% below 2005 levels.  However, this target is conditional on international funding.

“India has been unnecessarily cautious in setting its emissions intensity target. Taking up stronger action will not only reduce emissions but also be beneficial for the Indian economy,” said Prof Kornelis Blok of Ecofys.

India’s Ministry of Power announced in April 2015 that every new coal-fired power plant would have to be accompanied by a renewable power plant of at least 10% of the generating capacity.  It also has a wide range of other policies, such as a coal tax.

“Given the supporting mechanisms and policies in place, it is expected to be feasible that India will meet its ambitious renewable energy targets,” said Blok.

Over the next decade, India is likely to have the fastest-growing electricity market among the biggest economies in the world, and the biggest driver of this is its growing population, due to surpass China to become the world’s largest population by 2028.

The CAT has looked at India’s projections for growth in electricity generation, and notes that the growth in coal-fired generating capacity to 2030 would still be significantly larger than the increase in renewable/non-fossil capacity over the same period.

“This continued growth in coal-fired power generation would lead to a greater lock-in of carbon-intensive power infrastructure in India than appears necessary. Locking in such infrastructure will have a long-term impact on warming,” said Bill Hare of Climate Analytics.

The CAT also found the Indian Government’s description of its INDC to be lacking detail.

“India could increase the transparency of its INDC by outlining the greenhouse gas and sectoral coverage and GDP metric for its intensity target, as well as the way it envisages it will achieve the non-fossil power capacity target,” said Dr Louise Jeffery of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. “As a result of this lack of detail, we have had to make assumptions in our analysis.”

She noted that India also doesn’t say whether agriculture—excluded in India’s 2020 pledge— is included in the intensity target, and does not mention whether its very large forest sink target of 2-3.5GtC02e is cumulative, which the CAT has also had to assume.

Full analysis here 


7 New Technologies That Could Radically Change Our Energy Consumption



Energy Consumption
Shutterstock Licensed Photo - By Syda Productions |

Most of our focus on technological development to lessen our environmental impact has been focused on cleaner, more efficient methods of generating electricity. The cost of solar energy production, for example, is slated to fall more than 75 percent between 2010 and 2020.

This is a massive step forward, and it’s good that engineers and researchers are working for even more advancements in this area. But what about technologies that reduce the amount of energy we demand in the first place?

Though it doesn’t get as much attention in the press, we’re making tremendous progress in this area, too.

New Technologies to Watch

These are some of the top emerging technologies that have the power to reduce our energy demands:

  1. Self-driving cars. Self-driving cars are still in development, but they’re already being hailed as potential ways to eliminate a number of problems on the road, including the epidemic of distracted driving ironically driven by other new technologies. However, even autonomous vehicle proponents often miss the tremendous energy savings that self-driving cars could have on the world. With a fleet of autonomous vehicles at our beck and call, consumers will spend less time driving themselves and more time carpooling, dramatically reducing overall fuel consumption once it’s fully adopted.
  2. Magnetocaloric tech. The magnetocaloric effect isn’t exactly new—it was actually discovered in 1881—but it’s only recently being studied and applied to commercial appliances. Essentially, this technology relies on changing magnetic fields to produce a cooling effect, which could be used in refrigerators and air conditioners to significantly reduce the amount of electricity required.
  3. New types of insulation. Insulation is the best asset we have to keep our homes thermoregulated; they keep cold or warm air in (depending on the season) and keep warm or cold air out (again, depending on the season). New insulation technology has the power to improve this efficiency many times over, decreasing our need for heating and cooling entirely. For example, some new automated sealing technologies can seal gaps between 0.5 inches wide and the width of a human hair.
  4. Better lights. Fluorescent bulbs were a dramatic improvement over incandescent bulbs, and LEDs were a dramatic improvement over fluorescent bulbs—but the improvements may not end there. Scientists are currently researching even better types of light bulbs, and more efficient applications of LEDs while they’re at it.
  5. Better heat pumps. Heat pumps are built to transfer heat from one location to another, and can be used to efficiently manage temperatures—keeping homes warm while requiring less energy expenditure. For example, some heat pumps are built for residential heating and cooling, while others are being used to make more efficient appliances, like dryers.
  6. The internet of things. The internet of things and “smart” devices is another development that can significantly reduce our energy demands. For example, “smart” windows may be able to respond dynamically to changing light conditions to heat or cool the house more efficiently, and “smart” refrigerators may be able to respond dynamically to new conditions. There are several reasons for this improvement. First, smart devices automate things, so it’s easier to control your energy consumption. Second, they track your consumption patterns, so it’s easier to conceptualize your impact. Third, they’re often designed with efficiency in mind from the beginning, reducing energy demands, even without the high-tech interfaces.
  7. Machine learning. Machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies have the power to improve almost every other item on this list. By studying consumer patterns and recommending new strategies, or automatically controlling certain features, machine learning algorithms have the power to fundamentally change how we use energy in our homes and businesses.

Making the Investment

All technologies need time, money, and consumer acceptance to be developed. Fortunately, a growing number of consumers are becoming enthusiastic about finding new ways to reduce their energy consumption and overall environmental impact. As long as we keep making the investment, our tools to create cleaner energy and demand less energy in the first place should have a massive positive effect on our environment—and even our daily lives.

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Responsible Energy Investments Could Solve Retirement Funding Crisis




Energy Investments
Shutterstock / By Sergey Nivens |

Retiring baby-boomers are facing a retirement cliff, at the same time as mother nature unleashes her fury with devastating storms tied to the impact of global warming. There could be a unique solution to the challenges associated with climate change – investments in clean energy from retirement funds.

Financial savings play a very important role in everyone’s life and one must start planning for it as soon as possible. It’s shocking how quickly seniors can burn through their nest egg – leaving many wondering, “How long your retirement savings will last?

Let’s take a closer look at how seniors can take baby steps on the path to retiring with dignity, while helping to clean up our environment.

Tip #1: Focus & Determination

Like in other work, it is very important to focus and be determined. If retirement is around the corner, then make sure to start putting some money away for retirement. No one can ever achieve anything without dedication and focus – whether it’s saving the planet, or saving for retirement.

Tip #2: Minimize Spending

One of the most important things that you need to do is to minimize your expenditures. Reducing consumption is good for the planet too!

Tip #3: Visualize Your Goal

You can achieve more if you have a clearly defined goal in life. This about how your money can be used to better the planet – imagine cleaner air, water and a healthier environment to leave to your grandchildren.

Investing in Clean Energy

One of the hottest and most popular industries for investment today is the energy market – the trading of energy commodities. Clean energy commodities are traded alongside dirty energy supplies. You might be surprised to learn that clean energy is becoming much more competitive.

With green biz becoming more popular, it is quickly becoming a powerful tool for diversified retirement investing.

The Future of Green Biz

As far as the future is concerned, energy businesses are going to continue getting bigger and better. There are many leading energy companies in the market that already have very high stock prices, yet people are continuing to investing in them.

Green initiatives are impacting every industry. Go Green campaigns are a PR staple of every modern brand. For the energy-sector in the US, solar energy investments are considered to be the most accessible form of clean energy investment. Though investing in any energy business comes with some risks, the demand for energy isn’t going anywhere.

In conclusion, if you want to start saving for your retirement, then clean energy stocks and commodity trading are some of the best options for wallets and the planet. Investing in clean energy products, like solar power, is a more long-term investment. It’s quite stable and comes with a significant profit margin. And it’s amazing for the planet!

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