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Researchers: Renewable Energy Sources can Reduce Carbon Emissions but at Expense of Increased Inequality

Conversely, it reduces emissions to a lesser degree when occurring in a context of decreasing inequality

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Renewable Energy
A special subsidy scheme in the solar energy sector for which the state government will give a subsidy of 40 per cent up. Pixabay

The world must think more holistically about how it addresses renewable energy as efforts to shift away from fossil fuels and replace oil and coal with renewable energy sources can help reduce carbon emissions but at the expense of increased inequality, warn researchers.

The team from Portland State University (PSU) and Vanderbilt University found in a study of 175 nations from 1990 to 2014 that renewable energy consumption reduces carbon emissions more effectively when it occurs in a context of increasing inequality.

Conversely, it reduces emissions to a lesser degree when occurring in a context of decreasing inequality. “People who are just making ends meet and can barely afford their energy bills will make a choice between food and their energy,” said Julius McGee, assistant professor of sociology in PSU.

Renewable Energy
The Gujarat government is planning to upgrade the state’s installed capacity in the renewable energy sector to an ambitious 30,000 megawatt (MW). Pixabay

“We don’t think of energy as a human right when it actually is. The things that consume the most energy in your household — heating, cooling, refrigeration — are the things you absolutely need,” McGee added.

The findings, published in the journal Energy Research & Social Science, support previous claims by researchers who argue that renewable energy consumption may be indirectly driving energy poverty.

“Energy poverty” is when a household has no or inadequate access to energy services such as heating, cooling, lighting, and use of appliances due to a combination of factors: low income, increasing utility rates, and inefficient buildings and appliances.

renewable energy
Solar-Powered Smart Windows can help you save energy costs. Pixabay

In poorer nations, renewable sources of electricity have been used to alleviate “energy poverty”. In rural areas in southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, a solar farm can give an agrarian community access to electricity that historically never had access to energy.

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“That’s not having any impact on carbon dioxide emissions because those rural communities never used fossil fuels in the first place,” McGee said. Policymakers consider implementing policy tools that are aimed at both reducing inequality and reducing emissions.

“We need to be focusing on addressing concerns around housing and energy poverty before we actually think about addressing climate change within the confines of a consumer sovereignty model,” stressed McGee. (IANS)

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India: Gujarat to Upgrade Renewable Energy Sector To an Ambitious 30,000 Megawatt (MW)

A provision of Rs 1,000 crore has been made for this scheme during the current year

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Renewable Energy
A special subsidy scheme in the solar energy sector for which the state government will give a subsidy of 40 per cent up. Pixabay

The Gujarat government is planning to upgrade the state’s installed capacity in the renewable energy sector to an ambitious 30,000 megawatt (MW) by 2022 and announced a special subsidy scheme to encourage solar energy in a big way.

Finance Minister Nitin Patel, who presented his seventh Rs 2 lakh crore budget in the state Assembly on Tuesday, has announced a special subsidy scheme in the solar energy sector for which the state government will give a subsidy of 40 per cent up to three KW and 20 per cent for a system from three to 10 KW.

Patel said a provision of Rs 1,000 crore has been made for this scheme during the current year. Under this scheme, people can install solar panels on their rooftops and after exhausting their requirement could even supply the surplus back to the power grid.

He said more than 50,000 families were already using solar power at their homes through the government solar rooftop scheme.

Gujarat, Renewable Energy, Government
The Gujarat government is planning to upgrade the state’s installed capacity in the renewable energy sector to an ambitious 30,000 megawatt (MW). Pixabay

“Gujarat aspires to reach a stage where it will not only fulfil its own requirement but also the requirements of other states in the country,” the Finance Minister said.

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The state’s installed capacity of renewable energy has increased to 8,885 MW from 4,126 MW in 2013, he said, adding that plans were afoot to increase this to 30,000 MW by 2022 and 10,000 MW out of this would be sold to other states. (IANS)