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US environmentalist cautions against focus on solar energy in rural areas

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New Delhi: American global thinker on energy and environment Michael Shellenberger believes there’s “too much” thrust on solar energy for rural villages.

“I think Indianeeds to do everything at once. There’s too much focus on solar power for rural villages. Most people gain access to power around the world by moving to the city.

“Rural electrification tends to be the last stage of electrification because it’s one of the most expensive ways… India would do really well to focus its energy activities on factories and manufacturing,” Shellenberger said.

“Manufacturing can absorb a large number of subsistence farmers into the formal economy. Manufacturing liberates women and is also productively enhancing,” he added.

Co-author of “An Ecomodernist Manifesto” and recipient (with Ted Nordhaus) of the Green Book Award and Time magazine’s ‘Hero of the Environment’ award, Shellenberger spoke on What an Indian can learn from the history of environmental progress.

“You have limited amount of money you can spend on these things. Your Rs.1,000 crore or 10,000 crore spent on base-load coal for a factory is simply going to deliver more in terms of human development and economic growth in that same amount of money than a solar micro-grid in a countryside.

“Yes it can provide lighting etc., but it’s not adding productivity to the economy.”

Tossing out arguments, the environmental researcher felt if solar targets are achieved and that elevates the economic position of people in rural areas, they will tend to move out to cities.

“If it succeeds and it raises people out of poverty, then they are going to want to leave the countryside for the cities.”(IANS)(Image Courtesy: www.sbs.com.au)

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Weakning Demand Caused by Coronavirus Pandemic To Impact Indian Smartphone Market

Some brands like Apple, Samsung, Xiaomi, Realme, OPPO, Nokia HMD and Lava have already set up services on top of the active user base

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Smartphone
Some brands like Apple, Samsung, Xiaomi, Realme, OPPO, Nokia HMD and Lava have already set up services on top of the active user base. Pixabay

More than the supply concerns, weakening demand due the uncertainties brought about by the novel coronavirus is set to impact the India smartphone market the most, according to a projection by market research firm techARC.

During the calendar year 2020, demand is likely to be low particularly during the April-August period. “There can be no qualitative deterministic measurement of the impact done in this situation. There are so many uncertainties around and the situation is impacting both the supply and the demand side of the market,” said Faisal Kawoosa, Founder and Chief Analyst, techARC.

“We expect supply chain to resume in June in India. Thus April and May will be the worst affected months in terms of shipments, be it out of China or in India,” Kawoosa added. What is more worrying is the weakening demand as consumers are now focusing on spending their money only on essentials like food and medicine.

“Only those requiring a smartphone in case of breakdown will be the primary buyers. The elective upgrades and replacements will be at minimal,” said Kawoosa. Supply, including the channels (offline as well as online) should be back to normal in September. This will be fundamentally triggered by ground-up to festive season.

Smartphone
More than the supply concerns, weakening demand due the uncertainties brought about by the novel coronavirus is set to impact the India smartphone market the most, according to a projection by market research firm techARC. Pixabay

But even during the October-December quarter, demand could be lukewarm due to the the macro-economic scenario by then as well as fear of the viral infection resurfacing towards the winter. “Only if, there would be a vaccination available by then at mass scale, the market could see revival, but not at the normal levels,” Kawoosa said, adding that the smartphone industry will have to look at other revenues, especially service-oriented offerings, to offset the gap which will arise due to low sales of smartphones in 2020.

Some brands like Apple, Samsung, Xiaomi, Realme, OPPO, Nokia HMD and Lava have already set up services on top of the active user base.

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“They need to further look for more paying services to narrow the gap between the potential earnings through sale of hardware and the actual revenues they can realise in 2020,” said the report. (IANS)