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Insights Daily Current Events, 19 December 2014


Insights Daily Current Events, 20 December 2014

CO2 emissions at all time high

A new report, titled “Trends in global CO2 emissions”, says that Global Carbon Dioxide emissions from burning of fossil fuels and production of Cement have reached a new high of 35.3 billion tonnes in 2013. The report was released by Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency and European Commission’s Joint Research Centre.

Why? The increase is mainly due to continuing steady increase in energy use in emerging economies.

Other important observations made by the Report:

  • Brazil, India, China and Indonesia reported a sharp rise in emissions of the greenhouse gas.
  • The global emissions, however, increased at a notably slower rate of 2% than the average yearly 3.8% since 2003.
  • China, US and European Union remained the top 3 emitters of CO2, accounting for 29%, 15% and 11% respectively, of the world’s total.
  • After years of steady decrease in gas emissions by the US, it grew by 2.5% in 2013 mainly due to a shift in power production from gas back to coal and an increase in gas consumption for space heating.
  • The emissions by the EU continued to fall by 1.4% in 2013.
  • The lower emissions by China is mainly due to a decline in electricity and fuel demand by the basic materials industry, and aided by an increase in renewable energy and improvements in energy efficiency. With this China has returned to lower annual growth rates that it experience before its economic growth started to accelerate in 2003, when its annual CO2 emissions increased on average by 12% a year.

A greenhouse gas is a gas in an atmosphere that absorbs and emits radiation within the thermal infrared range. This process is the fundamental cause of the greenhouse effect. The primary greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere are water vapour, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and ozone. Greenhouse gases greatly affect the temperature of the Earth; without them, Earth’s surface would average about 33 °C colder, which is about 59 °F below the present average of 14 °C

Sources: The Hindu, Wiki.

Clean Energy Tax

Clean Energy Cess is levied as a duty of Excise under section 83 (3) of the Finance Act, 2010 at the rate of Rs.100 per tonne on Coal, Lignite and Peat (goods specified in the Tenth Schedule to the Finance Act, 2010) in order to finance and promote clean initiatives, funding research in the area of clean energy or for any other purpose.

The fund created through clean energy cess accruals is meant for the purposes for financing and promoting clean energy initiatives, funding research in the area of clean energy or for any other purpose relating thereto. Thus, projects aiming at reduction of emissions with innovative technologies from different sectors get considered under this funding mechanism.

Sources: PIB.

POSOCO for Reforms in Power Sector

The government has decided to set up Power System Operation Corporation (POSOCO) as an Independent Government Company.

In the process, the institutional framework for an independent, secure and reliable power system operation entity at the national level has been put in place as mandated under the Electricity Act 2003.

More about POSOCO:

  • POSOCO operates the National Load Despatch Centre (NLDC) and Regional Load Despatch Centres (RLDCs) which are also responsible for operating the vibrant electricity market working in the country.
  • POSOCO is also designated as the nodal agency for major reforms in the power sector such as the Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) Mechanism, transmission pricing, short term open access in transmission, Deviation Settlement Mechanism, Power System Development Fund (PSDF), etc.
  • It has been decided to establish POSOCO as a wholly owned Government of India Company under Ministry of Power thereby giving a big thrust to bringing in further reforms in the power sector at the Central level.

The need for independent Government Company in light of the introduction of competition as per Electricity Act 2003 which resulted in tremendous growth in the Indian power sector by the private sector participation in generation, transmission, distribution and trading. With transmission coming under competition and multiple transmission licensees operating, need was felt to ensure the independence and neutrality of the system operation function. The Enquiry Committee set up following the July, 2012 grid disturbances, has recommended inter alia putting in place zero tolerance systems including setting up of an Independent System Operator.

The decision also creates an example for implementing similar reforms at the State level to ensure independent system operation by the State Load Despatch Centers (SLDCs).

The strengthening of the institutional mechanism of System Operation would help bring in innovation in the power sector as the RLDCs/NLDC operated by POSOCO by achieving economy and efficiency in the power system operation and facilitating implementation of various Government of India policies for Power Sector as well as provide feedback to the policymakers, regulators and planners.

Sources: PIB.

Successful launch of GSLV-MARK III

The first experimental flight (GSLV Mk-III X/CARE) of India’s next generation launch vehicle GSLV Mk-III was successfully conducted.

  • Also known as LVM3-X/CARE, this suborbital experimental mission was intended to test the vehicle performance during the critical atmospheric phase of its flight and thus carried a passive (non-functional) cryogenic upper stage.
  • The successful launch of GSLV-Mark III is an important landmark in our space programme and demonstrates, yet again, India’s growing capabilities in space launch technology.

More details:

  • The GSLV-III or Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III, is a launch vehicle developed by the Indian Space Research Organization.
  • GSLV Mk III is conceived and designed to make ISRO fully self reliant in launching heavier communication satellites of INSAT-4 class, which weigh 4500 to 5000 kg.
  • It would also enhance the capability of the country to be a competitive player in the multimillion dollar commercial launch market. The vehicle envisages multi-mission launch capability for GTO, LEO, Polar and intermediate circular orbits.
  • GSLV-Mk III is designed to be a three stage vehicle, with 42.4 m tall with a lift off weight of 630 tonnes. First stage comprises two identical S200 Large Solid Booster (LSB) with 200 tonne solid propellant, that are strapped on to the second stage, the L110 re-startable liquid stage. The third stage is the C25 LOX/LH2 cryo stage. The large payload fairing measures 5 m in diameter and can accommodate a payload volume of 100 cu m. Realisation of GSLV Mk-III will help ISRO to put heavier satellites into orbit.

Sources: The Hindu, PIB, Wiki.