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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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Netflix Testing New Mobile-only Subscription Plan For India

However, since this is a test, not all users would be able to be part of the new plan and it is also possible that Netflix could decide on not making it a permanent option after all

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Netflix declined to share what other countries would be involved in the test besides India. Pixabay

In India and other select countries, content-streaming platform Netflix is testing a new mobile-only subscription plan that would only cost users $3.63 a month (Rs 251).

The basic Netflix streaming plan in India starts from $7.27 (Rs 500) and the test plan would slash the existing subscription plan exactly by half.

“We will be testing different options in select countries, where members can, for example, watch Netflix on their mobile device for a lower price and subscribe in shorter increments of time,” The Verge quoted Netflix as saying on Friday.

Although it remains unclear as of now, but the statement from the content-streaming platform hints that it could start offering weekly or bi-weekly subscription options alongside or instead of monthly plans.

Netflix
The test in India makes sense, given that Netflix has already expressed interest in the country, the report said. Pixabay

Netflix declined to share what other countries would be involved in the test besides India.

The test in India makes sense, given that Netflix has already expressed interest in the country, the report said.

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Last week, Todd Yellin, Product Vice President at Netflix gave a keynote in Mumbai addressing company’s future plans of expanding interactive TV shows and Netflix original content from India on its platform.

However, since this is a test, not all users would be able to be part of the new plan and it is also possible that Netflix could decide on not making it a permanent option after all. (IANS)