IISc study finds traditional dwellings are better for changing climate

IISc study finds traditional dwellings are better for changing climate

BENGALURU: As most people gradually shift from traditional houses, which rely on locally available building materials and knowledge, to modern dwellings, even in rural areas, a study by IISc’s Centre for Sustainable Technologies (CST) that evaluated houses in three different villages in India that had temperate, warm-humid and cold climates has found that traditional houses were better suited for climate change.

“Climate change affects the durability, indoor temperature and energy demand of buildings,” IISc said.
India has diverse traditional housing architectures spread across its varied landscape and climatic zones, and Khadeeja Henna, Aysha Saifudeen and Monto Mani from CST recently studied which of the two were more resilient to climate change.

The researchers, in their study published in Nature, while pointing out that Climate change impacts buildings in multiple ways, including extreme weather events and thermal stresses, said rural India comprising 65% of the population is characterised by vernacular dwellings evolved over time to passively regulate and maintain comfortable indoors.

“The team evaluated houses in three different villages in India that had temperate, warm-humid and cold climates. Using data loggers, the researchers recorded temperatures inside these houses every 30 minutes for almost a year,” IISc said.

Based on these recordings, they built a mathematical model to predict how the indoor temperatures would be in the future, IISc said, adding that the team then simulated three future global warming scenarios with different levels of greenhouse gas emissions.

The team, which also estimated how houses constructed using traditional and modern materials behaved in these scenarios, found that in all three climates, traditional houses – such as ones with timber walls or slate roofing – were less affected by climate change than modern houses.

“In the cold climatic zone, traditional dwellings were warmer indoors, making them more suitable for residence. But in the warm-humid and temperate climatic zones, modern houses had relatively higher indoor temperatures. This would make them more dependent on artificial air conditioning, thereby fuelling global warming further. The study, therefore, suggests that traditional dwellings have design solutions that can help mitigate and adapt to climate change,” IISc said.

Source Link: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/iisc-study-finds-traditional-dwellings-are-better-for-changing-climate/articleshow/83483872.cms

Government contemplates major renewable energy push

Government contemplates major renewable energy push

Amendment being considered to make rooftop solar power projects mandatory for new buildings.

Team Herald

PANJIM: In a major announcement, Non Conventional Energy Minister Nilesh Cabral on Thursday said the government is contemplating amending the Goa (Regulation of Land Development and Building Construction) Act, so as to make it mandatory for new buildings to install rooftop solar power projects.

Cabral said the government is giving a 50 per cent subsidy for installation of grid-connected solar power projects in the State but people were still not coming forward to install them and save power consumption.
Cabral said he has already written to the Town and Country Planning (TCP) Minister and the Chief Minister requesting them to amend the Goa (Regulation of Land Development and Building Construction) Act, and to make it mandatory to install solar power panels on rooftops.

The Minister said that once the Act is amended, any person applying for construction of single dwellings, apartment houses, flats, etc will have to install solar panels on rooftops before the building plan is approved.

The Minister said, “If every Goan decides to install solar power panels then we do not need Tamnar transmission lines.”

Cabral also demanded that those opposing infrastructure projects like the Tamnar transmission lines should start using solar power on their residences.

“I have been promoting solar power projects and appealing to people to install them on their residences but people are not opting for it. For the last one-and-half-year I have installed solar power projects on my two establishments and I am saving on an average Rs 10,000 to Rs 15,000 per month,” he said.

Cabral cautioned that during the next Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission (JERC) meeting, he will propose certain amendments to benefit users of solar power. “In the next JREC meeting I will propose two different tariffs for those who use solar power and for those who get electricity directly from the grid,” he said.

Stating that currently both consumers were charged the same tariffs, the Minister said that in future the government will provide benefits like lower tariffs to those using solar power considering their investment in installing them.

Source Link: https://www.heraldgoa.in/Goa/Govt-contemplates-major-renewable-energy-push/176045

Climate Change will decimate India’s GDP by 2050

Climate Change will decimate India’s GDP by 2050

New research says that India can lose over 25% of its GDP annually by 2050 unless the world reduces carbon footprint drastically.

Last week I wrote about the importance of the current G7 summit of the world’s richest nations (from 11-13 June) when it comes to deciding on a roadmap to tackle the climate crisis. After all, it is now clear that most of the biggest economies in the world—including India, which is attending the summit on invitation—have hedged their bets on fossil fuels to spur economic recovery following the covid-19 pandemic. All hopes of a green recovery that would help shift the world away from planet-heating fossil fuels to renewable energy (RE) has been dashed. Nations have instead invested millions of dollars to support coal, oil and gas.

This is nothing less than agreeing upon mutually assured destruction. That’s exactly what a new report prepared by the international not-for-profit charity Oxfam and one of the world’s biggest insurance firms, Swiss Re, says. The report, The Economics Of Climate Change: No Action Is Not An Option, lays down, in stark financial terms, the consequences of not meeting the climate goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement. The report states that if global temperatures rise by 2.6 degree Celsius in the next 30 years, then G7 countries will lose 8.7% of their GDP every year. This is twice as much as the effect of covid-19 on their economies. For poorer countries like India it will be worse, with its GDP shrinking by over 25%.

The report points out that the latest global pledges to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions would result in average global temperatures rising by 2.6 degree Celsius above pre-industrial levels by 2050. The Paris Agreement seeks to limit this temperature rise to 1.5 degree Celsius by 2100.

The fact that the 1.5 degree Celsius goal is slipping rapidly away was made clear by a World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) report last month. It said that at least one of the next five years will see the world touch the 1.5 degree Celsius mark. Currently, the world is 1.2 degree Celsius hotter than pre-industrial times. Without greater ambition to abolish fossil fuels, especially from the world’s richest economies, there is a very real chance that we will see catastrophic warming in the near future.

The focus right now is on the UK government, which is hosting both the G7 summit as well as a key global climate change summit in early October. While it is of paramount importance, as the report points out, that richer countries finance climate mitigation and adaptation of poorer countries that are more at risk, the UK has instead slashed its global aid.

Some of the world’s biggest emitters like China and the US have announced ambitious climate targets recently, but all analysis shows that this is nowhere near enough. The longer that fresh GHG emissions in the atmosphere keeps rising, as is currently the case, the harder it will be to course correct. In fact the Oxfam-Swiss Re report also envisages an even worse 3.2 degree Celsius rise by 2050, which would see a country like India losing up to 35% of its GDP every year. Now, this is entirely possible, since the later we act, the greater will be the rise in variable risks. Once it gets so hot that the word goes past certain climate tipping points, it would be too late to pull back from the abyss.

Source Link: https://lifestyle.livemint.com/smart-living/environment/climate-change-will-decimate-india-s-gdp-by-2050-111623316001488.html

Climate change to worsen Indian monsoon, global warming sets stage for dangerous rains: Study

Climate change to worsen Indian monsoon, global warming sets stage for dangerous rains: Study

The Indian monsoon is likely to get much more dangerous and wetter as global warming alters the system, new research says. India has witnessed a change in monsoon pattern over the years as climate disruptions take a toll on the system in the subcontinent.

The research published in the journal Science Advances stated that scientists analysed changes in the past million years to conclude that monsoon is set for the worse. “We find that the projected monsoon response to ongoing ice melt and rising carbon dioxide levels is fully consistent with dynamics of the past 0.9 million years,” the research paper said.

Led by Steven Clemens, a professor of earth, environmental and planetary sciences at Brown University, the team of researchers analysed mud samples recovered from the Bay of Bengal to reach the conclusion.

The team drilled 200-meter long core samples during a two-month research tour on a converted oil-drilling ship, the JOIDES Resolution. The samples provided an in-depth analysis of monsoon rainfall. Scientists analysed the fossils of plankton embedded in the sample that had died over hundreds of years as monsoon rains put more freshwater into the bay, reducing the salinity at the surface.

The samples provided an in-depth analysis of monsoon rainfall

The samples provided an in-depth analysis of monsoon rainfall.

Analyzing the samples, researchers found that the high rainfall and low salinity came following a period of high carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere and falling ice volumes. “We can verify over the past million years that increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have been followed by substantial increases in rainfall in the South Asian monsoon system. The predictions of the climate models are wonderfully consistent with what we see in the past million years,” Clemens was quoted as saying by New York Times.

The Indian monsoon, which is one of the prime cause of floods in several parts of the countries as rivers get inundated from excessive rainfall, could emerge as a major worry for people as the risk of dangerous season grows. The monsoon is also key in agriculture that is dependent on seasonal rains for irrigation.

Meanwhile, the Indian Meteorological Department said that the Southwest Monsoon has covered the northeast region, nearly four days after its normal date. The Southwest Monsoon made an onset over Kerala, which marks the beginning of the four-month rainfall season, on June 3 after a delay of two days. The system has already covered Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu and parts of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana since its arrival just days ago.

However, the weather body has predicted that the monsoon is expected to be normal this season as well as in June, a month critical for sowing.

Source Link: https://www.indiatoday.in/science/story/climate-change-to-worsen-indian-monsoon-unleash-dangerous-rains-1811927-2021-06-07

India to revamp renewable energy certificate mechanism to boost green economy

India to revamp renewable energy certificate mechanism to boost green economy

New Delhi: India is looking to revamp the tradable renewable energy certificate (RECs) mechanism to boost its green economy, through measures like making such RECs perpetual, and promoting new technologies.

As part of the plan in works, the union power ministry has circulated a discussion paper for redesigning the REC mechanism, that presently calls for renewable purchase obligations or RPOs to provide incentives to green energy sources.

“Discussion paper on the requirement of redesigning the REC Mechanism has been prepared in order to align it with the emerging changes in power scenario and to promote new renewable technology,” power ministry said in a statement on Monday.

The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission, India’s apex power sector regulator, operationalized the RPO mechanism with the move being supplemented by tradable RECs. In the event of a state being unable to match its RPOs, it buys RECs from a power exchange.

Some of the proposed features are; “The REC validity period may be removed. Thus, the validity of REC would be perpetual ie till it is sold.”

Such a mechanism provides a safety net for renewable power developers by guaranteeing the purchase of electricity, making these projects much more bankable.

“As RECs are perpetually valid then the floor and forbearance prices are not required to be specified as RECs holders would have the complete freedom to decide the timings to sell,” the proposal said. “CERC will be required to have monitoring and the surveillance mechanism to ensure that there is no hording of the RECs and creation of artificial price rise in the REC market. CERC may intervene if such case of malpractices is observed in the REC trading.”

India is running the world’s largest clean energy programme to achieve 175 GW of renewable capacity, including 100GW of solar power and 60 GW of wind power by 2022. A lot is riding on these projects to help India meet its climate change commitments.

“The RE generator who are eligible for REC, will be eligible for issuance of RECs for 15 years from the date of commissioning of the projects. The existing RE project that are eligible for REC would continue to get RECs for 25 years,” the statement said and added, “Promotion of new and high-cost technologies in RE and the provision of multiplier for issuance of RECs.”

India has set a target of 450GW renewable energy capacity by 2030. It currently has an installed renewable energy capacity of 89.63GW, with 49.59GW under execution. Also, ₹ 4.7 trillion has been invested in the country’s renewable energy space in the past six years, with an expected ₹ 1 trillion investment opportunity annually till 2030.

“A technology multiplier can be introduced for promotion of new and high priced RE technologies, which can be allocated in various baskets specific to technologies depending on maturity. The multiplier would also take care of vintage depending on the date of commissioning of the project,” the statement said.

Source Link: https://www.livemint.com/industry/energy/india-to-revamp-renewable-energy-certificate-mechanism-to-boost-green-economy-11623135769504.html

Global energy outlook 2021: pathways from Paris

Global energy outlook 2021: pathways from Paris

As parts of the world begin to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, a fundamental shift in the global energy system is needed to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Despite efforts by policymakers in some nations to stimulate a “green” recovery, far greater effort will be required to spur the scale and speed of technological change necessary to limit warming to 1.5° or 2° Celsius by 2100. In this annual report, review and compare—on an apples-to-apples basis—recent long-term projections from some of the world’s leading energy institutions. These projections range widely from those that assume little to no change in energy and climate policies to those that lay out technological feasible yet politically challenging pathways to limit climate change, improve energy access, and reduce air pollution. This year’s report provides particular insight into the differences between pathways aligned with the 1.5° and 2° Celsius climate targets; the effects of COVID-19 on future population, GDP, and energy demand; and the energy intensity of the global economy.

Source Link: http://www.indiaenvironmentportal.org.in/content/470731/global-energy-outlook-2021-pathways-from-paris/