Tag Archives: renewable energy

The Tesla battery heralds the beginning of the end for fossil fuels

BY JOHN MATTHEWS, THE CONVERSATION

While wind and solar power have made great strides in recent years, with renewables now accounting for 22% of electric energy generated, the issue that has held them back has been their transience. The sun doesn’t shine at night and the wind doesn’t blow year-round — these are the mantras of all those opposed to the progress of renewables.

Now the renewable-power billionaire Elon Musk has just blown away that final defence. Last Thursday in California he introduced to the world his sleek new Powerwall — a wall-mounted energy-storage unit that can hold 10 kilowatt hours of electric energy, and deliver it at an average of 2 kilowatts, all for $3,500.
See more » Business Insider
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Renewable Energy, Fresh Water Resources of Jammu Kashmir and Dynamics of Conflict

Nayyar N Khan is a US based political analyst, peace activist and a freelance journalist. His area of expertise is International Peace and Conflict Resolution.
Nayyar N Khan is a US based political analyst, peace activist and a freelance journalist. His area of expertise is International Peace and Conflict Resolution.

By Nayyar N Khan

It has been claimed for decades that a convergence of dynamics, including water scarcity, societal unrest, and strategic choreography, will unescapably drive states and other actors to act belligerently, perhaps even sadistically, to secure exquisite water resources. So are we as a final step witnessing the first twinkles of the new era of water wars? Water as a resource is very equivalent to oil; it is indispensable to all circadian human activities. Water is becoming a much cherished commodity, yet freshwater resources are asymmetrically distributed among developing countries. This scarcity in water has prompted anxiety in countries that already have little access to water, let alone steadfast water supplies. This desperation customarily cannot be determined by negotiations. Peter Gerick in his research paper, Water Conflict Chronology published in May 2013 noted that “If governments or claimants want water badly enough, they resort to force to obtain it. Water has very rarely been the main ingredient in international conflicts, but it is often factored into the problem due to its economic importance.” War and conflict have been tied directly or indirectly to the protection of resources throughout the known history of conflicts. Water, being one of the most important natural resources always been the primary need ranging from individual to the industrial level.  With the risk of water shortages around the world becoming more and more of an issue, water has become the fuel of certain conflicts in many regions around the world. “Water Wars” are becoming unescapable in the future of our world as the exploitation of water resources continues among countries and nation states that share the same water source. International law has proven itself inadequate in shielding the fair use of shared water supplies in some parts of the world. Professor Zoltan Grossman of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, USA, noted in 2004 that the rapid population increase and commercial usage of water for energy production has greatly affected the amount of water readily available to many people.

Continue reading Renewable Energy, Fresh Water Resources of Jammu Kashmir and Dynamics of Conflict

Pakistani farmers struggle to switch to solar powered pumps

By Aamir Saeed

Amid Pakistan’s growing energy crisis, farmers are being encouraged to switch from diesel to solar powered water pumps, but few can afford the initial costs

Arshad Khan recently converted his diesel-operated water pump to solar energy to save money on his monthly diesel bill. He grows wheat, vegetables, peanuts and sugar-cane on his 18 hectare farm in Attock district of Pakistan’s Punjab province.

“In April last year I decided to convert my tube well to solar energy after my diesel costs rose to 29,000 rupees (US$287) per month,” he said.

In Pakistan, there are over 1.1 million agriculture tube wells, with only 30% of them operated by electricity.

As the country faces a growing energy crisis, farmers are left with no option but to switch from diesel to solar energy to irrigate their crops. Tube wells consume around 2,000 million litres of diesel every year.

Khan is now encouraging other farmers in the area to install solar panels, pointing out the long-term economic benefits despite the initial expenditure of 1.8 million rupees (US$17,827).

National solar drive?

Pakistan’s government recently approved the use of grid-connected solar energy and rooftop solar installations and cut import taxes on solar equipment in a bid to boost solar power across the country.

In the next few months, Pakistan will add 100MW from the Quaid-e-Azam solar park in Punjab province to the national grid for the first time, with an additional 50MW to be added within a year. The project is part of Pakistan-China Economic Corridor, under which China will invest US$33 billion including in the energy and power sector.

But the country’s solar sector has a long way to go. “At the moment, generation of solar energy in the public sector is zero as all the projects are being done in the private sector,” said Asjad Imtiaz Ali, CEO of the Alternative Energy Development Board, a government organisation.

Chairman of Pakistan Solar Association, Faiz Muhammad Bhutta, recently urged the government to do more to spread solar power: he called for a 20,000-MW solar target by 2026, following the example of India’s National Solar Mission.

Despite plummeting oil prices, Asjad Imtiaz Ali believes Pakistan should continue to develop its renewable energy sector as a way of reducing its reliance on volatile fossil imports for electricity.

Almost half of Pakistan’s total electricity generation comes from expensive thermal energy sources and this means electricity prices have become unaffordable, according to the country’s 2013 National Power Policy.

Solar is the most viable and reliable energy source for agriculture, argues Dr Qamar-uz-Zaman, climate change and renewable energy expert with LEAD Pakistan, an NGO based in Islamabad. He believes farmers across the country should be encouraged to convert their diesel-operated water pumps to solar energy.

“Agriculture tube wells can be operated directly from solar panels as no batteries are required to store the energy for them,” Dr Qamar-uz-Zaman said, adding farmers can recover costs within three to four years by saving on diesel and electricity bills.

Read more » The Third Pole
See more » http://www.thethirdpole.net/pakistani-farmers-struggle-to-switch-to-solar-powered-pumps/

White House Says Obama Would Veto Keystone Pipeline Bill

By Coral Davenport

President Obama will veto a bill authorizing the construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline if it passes Congress, his spokesman said on Tuesday, setting up a clash between the White House and the new Republican-led Congress.

“I would not anticipate that the president would sign this legislation,” Josh Earnest, the White House press secretary, said during a briefing. He later clarified that the president would indeed veto the bill.

The Keystone bill was the first introduced in the Senate in the new Congress, and Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the new majority leader, has vowed to make it the first measure sent to the president’s desk. The House is expected to pass the bill on Friday, while the Senate is expected to take up the measure next week.

It was widely expected that Mr. Obama would veto the measure. As written, the bill would remove the requirement that the president authorize the construction of the oil pipeline to Canada, and instead give that authority to Congress. Mr. Obama issued a veto threat to a similar bill passed by the House in 2013.

News courtesy » The New York Times »» FirstDraft
Learn more » http://www.nytimes.com/politics/first-draft/2015/01/06/?entry=7990&action=click&contentCollection=Personal%20Tech&region=Footer&module=TopNews&pgtype=article

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