Friday May 25, 2018
Home India Better educat...

Better education and living conditions can lower emissions in India

0
//
170
Republish
Reprint

adult-education-572269_640

Kolkata: Improving education and creating favorable living and working conditions are essential for India’s transition to a society with minimal greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

A buzzword in climate negotiations, the concept of low carbon society or development, has its roots in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) adopted in Rio de Janerio in 1992 and is now generally expressed using the term ‘low-emission development strategies’.
For India, the way ahead is through exploiting the low carbon (or low emission) renewable energy sector which would be in the best interest of the people and the economy, according to Heinz Schandl, senior principal scientist at Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation.

“The biggest resource India has is obviously its people; investing in education and supporting decent living and working conditions would unlock this resource, which in turn would support a knowledge-based low carbon development path for which India is better suited, perhaps, than other countries,” he said.

Schandl is the chief author of the recently released United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report “Indicators for a Resource Efficient and Green Asia and the Pacific”. He believes that for “inclusive human development in the country without accelerating emissions”, renewables are key.

India, under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has set ambitious renewable energy (RE) targets of 100,000 MW of solar power, 60,000 MW of wind power, 10,000 MW of energy from biomass and 5,000 MW from small hydroelectric projects (175 GW of total renewables) by 2022.

Currently, India’s clean energy capacity is 33,000 MW.

Schandl said India’s thrust on RE is of “utmost importance.”

“Allowing India to service its growing energy needs with renewables will help mitigate climate change and hence reduce costs and interruptions of the Indian economy through climate impacts that can only become more severe and costly if climate mitigation fails.

“Investing in low carbon renewable energy is in the best interest of the Indian economy and its people,” said the scientist.

This will take India on par with the world’s average per-capita energy use, which stands at 75 Giga Joules (per capita energy use for final consumption). India lags far behind at a mere 20 GJ.

“This gap cannot be filled with traditional energy generation relying on high-carbon energy sources of the past but needs investment into modern, renewable energy that, once installed, comes at a very low additional cost,” Schandl pointed out.

This investment is crucial because energy use and GHG emissions are set to shoot up as people move to higher-paid jobs and demand better and more reliable energy sources. Schandl also drew attention to the non-availability of electricity in many parts of India.

Also, from examining the trends in industrial transformation of countries, it can be said that India may go through a similar transition process as China, resulting in much higher per-capita resource use and emissions in the future, Schandl suggested.

But India is in an advantageous position in terms of pumping in money to develop higher efficiency infrastructure (buildings, transport systems and manufacturing capacity), courtesy the know-how present in the country, he said.

“Such green investments in good quality public infrastructure will also support a more inclusive development path as they favour lower income households disproportionately,” he explained. (IANS)

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2015 NewsGram

Next Story

Diesel Exhaust Converted Into Ink by Indian Innovators To Battle Air Pollution

Supervised by young engineers, workers at the start-up company Chakr Innovation in New Delhi cut and weld sheets of metal to make devices that will capture black plumes of smoke from diesel generators and convert it into ink.

0
//
11
representational image. VOA

Supervised by young engineers, workers at the start-up company Chakr Innovation in New Delhi cut and weld sheets of metal to make devices that will capture black plumes of smoke from diesel generators and convert it into ink.

In a cabin, young engineers pore over drawings and hunch over computers as they explore more applications of the technology that they hope will aid progress in cleaning up the Indian capital’s toxic air – among the world’s dirtiest.

While the millions of cars that ply Delhi’s streets are usually blamed for the city’s deadly air pollution, another big culprit is the massive diesel generators used by industries and buildings to light up homes and offices during outages when power from the grid switches off – a frequent occurrence in summer. Installed in backyards and basements, they stay away from the public eye.

“Although vehicular emissions are the show stoppers, they are the ones which get the media attention, the silent polluters are the diesel generators,” says Arpit Dhupar, one of the three engineers who co-founded the start up.

The idea that this polluting smoke needs attention struck Dhupar three years ago as he sipped a glass of sugarcane juice at a roadside vendor and saw a wall blackened with the fumes of a diesel generator he was using.

It jolted him into joining with two others who co-founded the start-up to find a solution. Dhupar had experienced first hand the deadly impact of this pollution as he developed respiratory problems growing up in Delhi.

An Indian girls holds a banner during a protest against air pollution in New Delhi, India, Nov. 6, 2016.
An Indian girls holds a banner during a protest against air pollution in New Delhi, India, Nov. 6, 2016.

A new business

As the city’s dirty air becomes a serious health hazard for many citizens, it has turned into both a calling and a business opportunity for entrepreneurs looking at ways to improve air quality.

According to estimates, vehicles contribute 22 percent of the deadly PM 2.5 emissions in Delhi, while the share of diesel generators is about 15 percent. These emissions settle deep into the lungs, causing a host of respiratory problems.

After over two years of research and development, Chakr has begun selling devices to tap the diesel exhaust. They have been installed in 50 places, include public sector and private companies.

The technology involves cooling the exhaust in a “heat exchanger” where the tiny soot particles come together. These are then funneled into another chamber that captures 70 to 90 percent of the particulate matter. The carbon is isolated and converted into ink.

Among their first clients was one of the city’s top law firms, Jyoti Sagar Associates, which is housed in a building in Delhi’s business hub Gurgaon.

Making a contribution to minimizing the carbon footprint is a subject that is close to Sagar’s heart – his 32-year-old daughter has long suffered from the harmful effects of Delhi’s toxic air.

Motorists drive surrounded by smog, in New Delhi, India, Nov. 8, 2017.
Motorists drive surrounded by smog, in New Delhi, India, Nov. 8, 2017.

“This appealed to us straightaway, the technology is very impactful but is beautifully simple,” says Sagar. Since it could be retrofitted, it did not disrupt the day-to-day activities at the buzzing office. “Let’s be responsible. Let’s at least not leave behind a larger footprint of carbon. And if we can afford to control it, why not, it’s good for all,” he says.

At Chakr Innovation, cups, diaries and paper bags printed with the ink made from the exhaust serve as constant reminders of the amount of carbon emissions that would have escaped into the atmosphere.

There has been a lot of focus on improving Delhi’s air by reducing vehicular pollution and making more stringent norms for manufacturers, but the same has not happened for diesel generators. Although there are efforts to penalize businesses that dirty the atmosphere, this often prompts them to find ways to get around the norms.

Also Read: Exposure to Traffic-Related Pollution Poses Threat of Asthma in Kids

Tushar Mathur who joined the start up after working for ten years in the corporate sector feels converting smoke into ink is a viable solution. “Here is a technology which is completely sustainable, a win-win between businesses and environment,” says Mathur. (VOA)