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India would need to generate at least 83 per cent of its electricity from (non-hydropower) renewable energy sources by 2050, if it were to commit to achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by mid-century, according to an independent study released on Monday by the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW).
This would mean a massive 55-fold increase in use of non-hydro renewables in electricity generation within the coming three decades, from only 160 Terawatt-hour (TWh) (10 per cent) in 2019. Further, to achieve net-zero by 2050 the share of electricity in India’s industrial energy use must rise three-fold, from 20 per cent in 2018 to 70 per cent in 2050. The share of electric vehicles in passenger car sales would also have to rise to 76 per cent in 2050 from just 0.1 per cent in 2019.
These estimates are based on CEEW’s best understanding of progress on mitigation technologies. To meet net-zero, India would need to either completely eliminate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, or balance these by sequestering GHG emissions.
The CEEW study is the first exercise to outline multiple pathways for India to attain net-zero emissions, rather than fixating on a single scenario or a single year. It highlighted that India would need to reach peak emissions within this decade if it were to achieve net-zero emissions by mid-century, a pace of transition unlike anything the world has seen before. This would give India an extremely narrow window to ensure a smooth and equitable transition from a peaking year to a net-zero year.
Advanced economies, including China, Japan, the UK, and the US, will have taken at least 30, and at times well over 40 years for this transition. Advanced economies peaked emissions at much higher levels of development, slower rates of growth and would have had longer transition periods.
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Vaibhav Chaturvedi, Fellow, CEEW, and author of the study, said, “Our first-of-its-kind analysis is intended to provide policymakers with different options in making a critical decision for India’s future. We find that India would need to undergo a double transition, through faster electrification of sectors and an increasing share of renewables in power generation, if it were to announce an ambitious net-zero target. Policymakers would also need to identify manufacturing sectors where electricity could replace fossil fuels. Reducing the cost of electricity to make it competitive would be equally critical. Finally, the rate of decline in India’s emission intensity of primary energy would have to be ramped up drastically to peak within the coming two decades.”
Arunabha Ghosh, CEO, CEEW, said, “India has already demonstrated climate leadership and is the only G20 nation on track to surpass its Paris Agreement targets. However, if India were to announce a net-zero target, it must choose a year that not only minimises climate impacts but also gives it enough space to develop. Achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 or 2060 would need rapid systemic changes across all sectors and sections of society. This, in turn, would require significant international financial investments and technological transfer from or technology co-development with the developed world.
“It would be equally important for India to closely examine trade-offs such as increasing cost of household electricity, increasing railways passenger fares, fiscal challenges for coal-dependent states, job losses for over half a million coal mining workers, and the shifting geopolitics around energy trade and the energy transition before announcing its net-zero targets. We need an informed debate based on analytics, not just heuristics.”
The CEEW study explains why India’s case is different from the net-zero pathways of China, the EU, Japan, the UK and the US. First, the per capita emissions for all other economies in their respective peaking years would be much higher than India’s, even if India were to peak in 2050. Secondly, India’s real GDP growth rate would be much higher than any other country post their peaking years. This indicates that India would need to put in significantly more effort to peak and subsequently reduce emissions. Thirdly, India would have a much lower per capita income to support the transition, even if it began the post-peak transition in 2050, let alone 2030.
The CEEW study also found that if India were to peak in 2030 and reach net-zero in 2060 like China, its cumulative carbon emissions for 2021-2100 would be 80 GtCO2. For the same period, China and the US’s cumulative carbon emissions, even after incorporating their net-zero ambitions, would be 349 GtCO2and 104 GtCO2, respectively.
According to the World Bank, India’s per capita carbon dioxide emissions stood at 1.82 CO2 in 2016, much lower than the global average of 4.55 CO2. (IANS/KR)
Canadian researchers have discovered an overlooked gene that plays a major role in the development of antibodies, which help the immune system recognize and fight viruses including SARS-CoV-2, bacteria and other causes of infectious disease. The gene -- FAM72A -- facilitates production of high-quality antibodies by enabling the effect of an enzyme called AID (for Activation-Induced Deaminase), the researchers showed.
Immunologists have known for two decades that AID is essential to produce antibodies capable of clearing infections, but the full mechanism of its effect has remained unknown. "Our findings answer the long-standing question of how AID does its work," said Alberto Martin, a professor of immunology at the University of Toronto's Temerty Faculty of Medicine. "FAM72A helps AID to promote mutations in antibody genes that are essential for the development of effective antibodies," he added.
Genetic mutations that lead to lasting changes in DNA occur through a process called mutagenesis. | Pixabay
Genetic mutations that lead to lasting changes in DNA occur through a process called mutagenesis. In the context of antibody development, mutagenesis unfolds largely through the AID-driven mechanisms called somatic hypermutation and class switch recombination -- both of which help antibodies gain the diversity and potency they need to counter a wide range of pathogens.
The results published in the journal Nature will help researchers better understand antibody development broadly, but they also have implications for cancer. Uncontrolled mutagenesis in B cells that produce antibodies is linked to B cell lymphoma, and FAM72A is present at very high levels in other cancers such as gastrointestinal, breast, lung, liver and ovarian cancers.
"Our data show that high levels of FAM72A promote mutations in antibody genes, so increased levels of FAM72A could spur cancer development, progression or drug resistance by increasing mutagenesis,a Martin said. Martin's team is now exploring those possibilities. Intriguingly, unlike other mammals, humans have four gene versions of FAM72A and their roles in cancer and antibody production are still unknown. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: researchers, cancer, mutagenesis, antibody, development, antibodies, canada, COVID
Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL), a subsidiary of Coal India will set up a 50 megawatt (MW) solar power plant in Odisha's Sambalpur at a total cost of Rs 301.92 crore, moving steadily towards its goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2024. MCL has placed a turnkey order to set-up a 50 MW solar power plant with a Chennai-based firm M/s Hild Energy Ltd, which will establish this green energy project within a timeline of 10 months, the MCL said in a statement on Saturday.
This solar plant would cater to the captive power requirement of MCL. The Central PSU had successfully set-up a 2MW solar power plant in Sambalpur in 2014. The company said it has pledged a target of installing 182 MW of solar power by 2024 in order to become a net zero energy company, aligning itself to use cleaner forms of energy for coal production.
The company said it has pledged a target of installing 182 MW of solar power by 2024. | Photo by Mariana Proença on Unsplash
This 50 MW solar power project will reduce CO2 emission by 91,020 tonnes per annum and carbon offsets of around 24,824 tonnes per annum, claimed the MCL. MCL is the leading production subsidiary of Coal India, having mining operations in Angul, Jharsuguda and Sundargarh districts of Odisha. Having achieved the highest ever capital expenditure of Rs 2,419 crore in the financial year 2020-21, the company has coal production and dispatch targets of 163 million tonnes and 182 million tonnes, respectively.
MCL was the coal mining company to introduce environment-friendly surface miner technology, which contributes over 95 per cent in coal production. As another environment-friendly initiative, the company has successfully introduced vertical rippers for blast-less over-burden removal in Hingula and Kaniha opencast projects. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: solar plant, carbon neutrality, Odisha, Sambalpur, Coal India, subsidiary, Mahanadi Coalfields Limited, solar energy
As the nation celebrated the 114th birth anniversary of his father - renowned poet Harivansh Rai Bachchan - megastar Amitabh Bachchan remembered his dad as he penned a heartfelt note for him. The actor took to his blog where he poured his heart out and also shared an unseen photo with his father. The image in question is from Big B's wedding in 1973, where the two are caught in a sweet moment as they look at each other.
Amitabh Bachchan wrote on his blog,
"My Father , my all .. November 27th his birth in the year 1907 .. Which makes it his 114th Anniversary .. He is in the heavens, with my Mother and they celebrate .. as do we , in thought word and deed .. (sic). But first."
He then posted the picture followed by elaborate paragraphs. The megastar wrote,
"Those rare moments when one would find himself rushing against the winds to prevent the distance between us and to close it down as soon as it can be. The day of my wedding and his expression of fulfilment to not just be in congratulation but instead to be in the face of a belief, a chime, an ultimate season of love and great passion, of the quarries of the fears and conditionings of these deprived gym routines kart ..(sic)". "This could have been unknown for long facilitating years, to give not expected versions and lastly large scale informations of the insides ; but as time passed by, as does now , they explained purposely, the values of education and similarity .. Be in peace and love .. (sic)",
the veteran actor concluded his note. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Amitabh Bachchan, Harivansh Rai Bachchan, actor, blog, birth anniversary, 114th birthday