Israel launches plan to accelerate renewable energy deployment

Israel launches plan to accelerate renewable energy deployment

Last Updated: September 12, 2022


Jerusalem: Israel launched a plan to accelerate the deployment of renewable energy infrastructures throughout the country, the energy ministry has said in a statement.

The plan aims to set up renewable energy facilities in all-new, non-residential constructions in Israel, and to remove barriers to expanding the electricity grid to carry more electricity generated by renewable energy, Xinhua news agency cited statement as saying.

In addition, about 70 state-owned companies will integrate renewable energy into and improve energy efficiency for their existing assets and infrastructure.

From now on, renewable energy will be a factor considered in the planning and set up of all infrastructure and construction projects promoted by the government, the statement noted.

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Betting on green hydrogen to fulfil energy needs ‘risky’, finds study

Betting on green hydrogen to fulfil energy needs ‘risky’, finds study

Last Updated: September 09, 2022

Green Hydrogen

EU target to replace natural gas, coal and oil in some sectors;

But global electrolyser capacity needs to grow 6,000-8,000-fold by 2050 en

Countries have been betting on  — hydrogen produced from splitting water using renewable energy — to meet their climate goals. But a new study has warned against relying on this green technology, calling it a “risky bet”.

Its supply will likely remain scarce in the short-term and uncertain in the long term even if its growth is at par with solar and wind energy, according to the study published in journal Nature Energy.

Green hydrogen would likely supply less than 1 per cent of final energy globally by 2035. The European Union could reach the 1 per cent mark by 2030, as energy prices are soaring, the paper stated.

The EU set a target of achieving 10 million tonnes of domestic renewable hydrogen production May 18, 2022. It plans 10 million tonnes of imports by 2030 to replace natural gas, coal and oil in certain industries and transport sectors. 

The challenges in ramping up the supply of electrolysers — a device in which green hydrogen is produced — were analysed by researchers from Germany and the United States. 

“Electrolysis capacity is still tiny compared to where we need to be in 2050 for Net Zero emissions scenarios,” Adrian Odenweller, lead author from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, told Down To Earth.

“That makes the market ramp-up a huge challenge,” he added. The team used a computer simulation model that explored different scenarios of accelerating electrolysis capacities, including implementing strong policies.

Green hydrogen would remain scarce in the short term, leading to a supply-demand gap even if the technology grows at rates similar to solar and wind, showed the analysis. 

“In the long run, the market ramp-up of electrolysis capacity is uncertain, which carries risks for climate change mitigation,” Odenweller said.

Global electrolyser capacity needs to grow 6,000-8,000-fold by 2050 to contribute to climate neutrality scenarios compatible with the Paris Agreement. 

In contrast, the more available and cost-competitive option of renewable power needs to grow by 10-fold, the experts highlighted. However, the study offers some hope. Implementing strong policies could reverse the setbacks. 

“Historic analogues also suggest that emergency-like policy measures could foster substantially higher growth rates, expediting the breakthrough and increasing the likelihood of future hydrogen availability,” the senior scientist at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research said in a statement.

In addition to ramping up supply, policies should also boost infrastructure and demand, Odenweller said. “Fostering green hydrogen growth will therefore require strong dedication, coordination and funding along the entire value chain,” he added.

However, carbon pricing, he added, should always form the basis of climate policy. Carbon pricing is a policy tool that puts a tax on producers of greenhouse gas emissions, said experts.

Hydrogen incentives may help sectors where no other alternatives exist, such as steel, or power supply in hours of low wind and solar electricity generation.

Still, relying on the large-scale availability of green hydrogen is, therefore, a risky bet if hydrogen is not readily available and affordable in the future, the paper stated. This may lead to a fossil lock-in, delaying or preventing the transition to low-carbon alternatives.

The researchers recommended accelerating the roll-out of crucial zero-carbon technologies like electric mobility and heat pumps. “These technologies make more efficient use of scarce renewable electricity,” Odenweller said.

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NTPC gains after company inks agreement with Indian Army to supply renewable energy

NTPC gains after company inks agreement with Indian Army to supply renewable energy

Last Updated: September 09, 2022


This is the first agreement by Indian Armed Forces to procure power from renewable energy sources

Shares of state-run National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) gained 1.5 percent in early trade on September 9 and the stock was among the top gainers on National Stock Exchange, after the company announced that it has inked an agreement with the Indian Army to supply renewable energy.

According to agencies, the Army’s Western Command has signed a long-term agreement with NTPC to draw 25 MW of solar power directly from the national solar grid of the country for the next 27 years.

“This is the first agreement by Indian Armed Forces for sourcing power from renewable energy sources,” said NTPC in a Twitter post.

The scrip traded around Rs 169 a piece on the NSE at 10 am, close to its 52-week high of Rs 170, hit on September 7.

According to a statement issued by the Western Command Headquarters in Chandimandir, where the MoU was inked, the new move will decarbonize upto 38 percent of the energy portfolio of Western Command, apart from accruing a substantial savings to the exchequer.

“This initiative aligns the command to the National Solar Mission of the Government of India and weans it away from the archaic coal-based thermal energy being provisioned so far, that too at a higher tariff rate,” the statement added.

The solar energy will be sourced from Sholapur in Maharashtra.

Meanwhile, analysts are largely bullish on NTPC. Emkay Global has a ‘Buy’ call with a March 2023 target price of Rs 188.

“NTPC is expected to monetize its renewable energy assets in the near future and continues to target 60+GW RE assets by 2032. The incremental thermal assets will add to steady earnings growth,” said the brokerage firm.

ICICI Direct also has a ‘Buy’ call with a target price of Rs 176.

Disclaimer: The views and investment tips expressed by investment experts on are their own and not those of the website or its management. advises users to check with certified experts before taking any investment decisions.

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Adani to build 3 giga factories in India as part of $70 bn green investment

Adani to build 3 giga factories in India as part of $70 bn green investment

Last Updated: September 07, 2022

Green Investment

Asia’s richest man  on Wednesday said his ports-to-power conglomerate will build three giga factories for manufacturing solar modules, wind turbines, and hydrogen electrolyzers as part of a USD 70 billion investment in  by 2030.

 is stepping up investments across the green energy value chain as it aims to become the world’s top  producer by 2030.

“The  has already committed USD 70 billion (for climate change and green energy).

This will see us building three giga factories in India leading to one of the world’s most integrated green-energy value chains,” he said after receiving the USIBC Global Leadership Award here.

These giga factories will “extend from polysilicon to solar modules, complete manufacturing of wind turbines, and the manufacturing of hydrogen electrolyzers,” he said.

This, he said, will generate an additional 45 GW of  to add to Adani group’s existing 20 GW capacity, as well as 3 million tons of hydrogen by 2030.

The announcement comes weeks after rival billionaire Mukesh Ambani announced a fifth giga factory as part of investment in low carbon energy.

The new giga factory for power electronics will be in addition to four giga factories announced last year for making integrated solar PV modules that will produce electricity from sunlight, electrolyzers that produce hydrogen from water, fuel cells and batteries to store energy from the grid as well as 20 GW solar energy capacity by 2025 for captive needs.

Listing out imperatives for US-India engagement, Adani said the combined value of the GDP of the two nations in 2050 is expected to be a staggering USD 70 trillion dollars or 35-40 per cent of the global economy.

By that year, the combined population of the two countries will be over 2 billion with a median age of less than 40 years as compared to the already median age of 44 in Europe and 40 in China.

“When seen through these lenses of economics and the raw power of consumption it is evident that the existing 150 billion dollars of bilateral trade between the US and India is no more than a speck in the ocean. Far more needs to be done,” he said.

On the stuck trade deal, he said he believes the two nations will resolve and mutually accept some compromises.

“What we cannot afford – is to remain stuck in the belief – that all aspects of trade and relations are being hampered as a result of tariffs,” he said.

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Melting glaciers, water scarcity, exodus

Melting glaciers, water scarcity, exodus

Last Updated: September 12, 2022

Water Scarcity

Melting glaciers, water scarcity, exodus: How climate change reality is biting Ladakh villages

Global warming has been leading to melting glaciers in the Hindu Kush Himalayan Range, where Ladakh’s located. This has caused a water crisis in the region.

Kulum, Leh: “There’s no water,” said Sonam Chondol, an erstwhile resident of a ghost hamlet in Leh district, flatly.

“There’s no grass to feed our livestock, not enough to irrigate our fields. Why would we go back?”

Chondol, along with 6 other families from her village of Upper Kulum, decided to leave their homes over 10 years ago and migrate to the nearby town of Upshi — about 5 km away — for a better chance of securing their livelihoods.

Chondol set up a confectionary shop on the road that takes tourists towards the Puga hot springs, and ekes out a living from the footfall her shop receives.

Small as the number of residents that left is, the experience of water scarcity in Kulum has been enough to alarm Ladakh’s district authorities and NGOs, serving as a warning for what the future of the region could hold if measures to mitigate climate change are not immediately put in place.

Like most of Ladakh, Kulum is glacier-fed, depending on the water that dribbles down the mountains from snowmelt.

But over the last few decades, the source of this water has been waning because of global heating.

The Hindu Kush Himalayan Region — in which Ladakh is located — is also called the third pole because of the volume of glacial ice it stores.

These glaciers, which are the source of 10 major river systems, are warming much faster than the global average.

Shakeel ul Rahman is a sub-divisional officer of agriculture in Leh district working on increasing climate-resilient agriculture in the region to cope with changes in the water supply.

“There is a lot of stress on Ladakh’s water sources, and the melting or erosion of glaciers is going to become a huge challenge.

If we don’t act now, there will be more out-migration, more abandoned villages,” he told ThePrint, gazing at Leh’s snow-capped peaks from his office window.

An exodus

The most obvious sign of global warming in Ladakh is the changing face of the mountains themselves.

Seventy-three-year-old Tsering Angchuk, who also abandoned his home in Upper Kullum, pointed to his shins, just below his knee, and said: “More than 15-20 years ago, when it snowed, it would come up to here.

But now, it’s barely a few inches. The mountains barely have any snow on them”.

Tsering Angchuk in his village, Kullum, in Ladakh | Praveen Jain | ThePrint
Tsering Angchuk in his village, Kulum, in Ladakh | Praveen Jain | ThePrint

Angchuk is not mistaken. Scientists have recorded a retreat in both snowfall and glacial mass in Ladakh over the last few decades.

Snowmelt and rainfall in the months of March and April would irrigate their fields enough to sow barley, wheat, peas, and potatoes.

But with lower levels of snowfall, the sowing season has gone awry.

“We have observed that snowmelt is happening much earlier, and so the peak of discharge is happening in spring, leading to a shortage in the summer season.

There’s also a reduction in soil moisture, which can cause springs to dry,” Dr. Anil Kulkarni, a glaciologist and distinguished scientist at the Indian Institute of Science, told ThePrint.

Angchuk says he’s the first to have led the exodus from Upper Kulum in 2012, two years after the devastating cloudburst of 2010 damaged part of a glacier-fed spring supplying their village with water, eventually leading it to dry up.

The lack of spring water and the shift in the monsoon season towards the winter made agriculture completely unviable, he said.

But even within the range of a few kilometers, topography in the village varies greatly. In Lower Kulum, a settlement of four households about a kilometre-and-a-half downstream of Upper Kulum, residents are slightly better off.

The spring supplying Lower Kulum with water hasn’t fully dried up yet, allowing for some subsistence farming.

“We didn’t leave because we could manage with whatever little water we got from the spring. But it has been increasingly difficult.

We don’t have as much of a yield as we did before 2010,” said Urgan Chosdol, a resident of Lower Kulum.

Climate resilience and adaptation

In the neighboring village of Igoo, concerns about water scarcity are mounting.

“The water flow is erratic. The glacier that supplies our village has reduced a lot in size.

Water that used to flow till September has now waned around mid-August,” Tsering Gurmet, a village leader, told ThePrint, adding: “It rains at odd times, which makes farming difficult”.

A 2016 study by scientists from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) found that climatic changes in Leh showed a “warming trend” with varied precipitation that suggests “overall the region is receiving more rainfall than the arid region is used to”.

According to Tashi Nurbu, another resident of the village, a 20-year-old scheme created small bunds or dams below the glacier supplying the village with water, which caused sheets of ice to freeze, creating a reservoir.

This ice reservoir, Nurbu said, supplied water even in the summer months, but the bunds broke some years ago.

“This dam system should be rebuilt because it really helped keep the supply of water regular when we need it the most, After it broke, the ice hasn’t formed like it used to,” he said.

Tashi Nurbu (right), Tsering Gurmat and Sonam Phunchok at Igoo | Praveen Jain | ThePrint
Tsering Gurmet (L), Sonam Phunchok (C), Tashi Nurbu (R) in Igoo village | Praveen Jain | ThePrint

The idea of creating a reservoir of ice up in the mountains — called an artificial glacier — is credited to Chewang Norphel, a civil engineer who invented the model in the 1980s after observing how droplets of water from a tap froze once they hit the ground.

A newer prototype, called an ice stupa, was pioneered by engineer Sonam Wangchuk in 2013.

The conical shape of the glacier means less surface area is exposed to the sun, further regulating the water downstream.

The ice stupa consists of a pipe that draws water from a glacier or stream and is taken to a suitable location at an elevation.

There, water is slowly released through a sprinkler, which forms a base of ice. As the water continues to be sprayed, the ice builds and builds, till it resembles a vertical glacier.

This glacier is designed to melt through the early summer months, to make up for the shortfall in recent decades.

In 2019, this model was implemented by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs alongside Wangchuk’s organisation, the Students’ Educational and Cultural Movement of Ladakh (SECMOL) in Lower Kulum.

“We tried it in 2019, but it failed because we made it too close to the village and it melted away too quickly.

We were only successful this winter, in 2022. It takes a lot of trial and error, and to make the stupa we had to trek 5- 6 kilometers uphill from here where temperatures are lower and the ice can properly form,” said Chosdol.

Though the intervention has been found to mitigate the effects of water scarcity, it is expensive and high maintenance, prone to pipes getting jammed due to freezing temperatures.

It has also given rise to other unforeseen consequences — in the village of Phayang, for example,  20 km away from Leh, the diversion of water to form an ice stupa led to resource conflicts with a neighbouring village.

Earlier this year, Leh’s agriculture department decided to implement a scheme called the Special Development Package in Lower Kullum, which includes installing a solar-powered borewell to draw groundwater for micro irrigation — technology that Rahman says was not necessary till recently.

Micro irrigation involves methods that use less water, through drippers, sprinklers, and foggers.

“Initially, the residents were skeptical about whether micro irrigation will work, but this year they have grown a good amount of potatoes and summer squash.

Villagers in Upper Kullum are also now considering letting us implement it there,” Rahman told ThePrint, who added that the scheme would be implemented in a dozen other villages.

Lowering emissions

Despite its vulnerability to climate change, weather and climate data from the Ladakh region has been limited, says Dr. Subrat Sharma, head of the regional GB Pant National Institute of Himalayan Environment, which opened in Ladakh only 3 years ago.

“Instrumental evidence of climate change has been very little in this area, but there is other, indirect evidence of climate change in the region, like the increasing frequency of cloud bursts,” he told ThePrint.

Sonam Chondol (left)and Dechen Spaldon at their Shop in Upshi village | Praveen Jain | ThePrint
Sonam Chondol (L) with her niece Dechen Spaldon at their shop in Upshi | Praveen Jain | ThePrint

Average temperatures across the globe have warmed up by 1.1 degrees celsius since pre-industrial times, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s recent reports.

Efforts across the world are on to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees celsius —  at which point Ladakh, which is especially vulnerable to climate change, is likely to warm up by 2.23 degrees.

At such temperatures, weather patterns are likely to change even more dramatically than they already have, scientific evidence suggests.

“There will be a lifespan to interventions like artificial glaciers. We need more scientific scrutiny to see in which conditions they will succeed and fail,” said Kulkarni, adding: “The elephant in the room here is greenhouse gas emissions. The only permanent solution is to cut emissions”.

For Angchuk, moving back to Upper Kullum — where houses and fields lie abandoned — will take a lot of convincing, even if irrigation schemes and artificial glaciers help the flow of water along.

“Will the water really come? I didn’t even know about borewells until recently. They say they will install it. Maybe I’ll consider moving back if it works,” he said.

(Edited by Uttara Ramaswamy)

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India to SOON have electric highways, solar energy to charge EVs: Nitin Gadkari

India to SOON have electric highways, solar energy to charge EVs: Nitin Gadkari

Last Updated: September 12, 2022

Electric Highways

India to soon have electric highways, solar energy to facilitate EV charging, says Union road, transport and highway minister Nitin Gadkari, reports PTI.

To reduce carbon emissions, the Indian government has been working extensively on the adoption of electric vehicles. Taking another step ahead in electric mobility, the government is now working on developing electric highways to facilitate the charging of vehicles. Union road, transport, and highway minister Nitin Gadkari stated that these electric highways will be powered by solar energy which will facilitate the charging of heavy-duty trucks and buses. Addressing an event organised by the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce (IACC), Gadkari reiterated that the government wants to develop India’s public transport system on electricity.

“The government is strongly encouraging solar and wind energy-based charging mechanisms for electric mobility. We are also working on developing electric highways, which will be powered by solar energy and this will facilitate charging of heavy-duty trucks and buses while running,” he said. An electric highway generally refers to a road that supplies power to vehicles travelling on it, including through overhead power lines.

Gadkari said that the government is also encouraging toll plazas to be powered by solar energy. The minister said the road ministry has conducted route optimisation exercises across major corridors and has designed newer alignments.

Emphasizing that a well-developed infrastructure enhances economic activities, creates new businesses, and promotes job creation, Gadkari said, “We are constructing 26 greenfield expressways.” With the launch of PM Gati Shakti Master Plan, he said projects will get faster clearance and it would cut down logistic costs.

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