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India’s solar aid to illuminate Sri Lanka’s black-out areas

Late last year, the government announced the project when electricity tariff hikes triggered protests spread in many places of religions across the country…reports Asian Lite News

Sri Lanka’s Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekera has announced that government institutions and religious sites in the country will be powered by solar energy with the support of Indian loan assistance.

Wijesekera said that each religious place would be provided with a five-kilowatt solar panel, while government institutions would receive solar panels suitable for their roof sizes and the project is scheduled to commence within the next two months.

The announcement on the India-assisted renewable energy project came following the Power and Energy Ministry’s earlier decision to use an extended loan of $100 million Indian credit line to fix rooftop solar panels in government institutions and religious places.

Late last year, the government announced the project when electricity tariff hikes triggered protests spread in many places of religions across the country.

Following the government’s decision to raise the electricity tariff to a record high to solve heavy losses suffered by the state-run Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB), some Buddhist monks threatened not to honour payment for electricity usage and declare blackouts at temples.

In addition to the religious institutes, the credit line extended by the Indian government was to install rooftop solar at schools, universities, education institutes, hospitals, district and divisional secretariats and other government buildings.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka’s power demand is to be eased with the construction of a 500 MW renewable energy power plant by India’s Adani Group. Minister Wijesekera said that the necessary permissions have been granted and the energy generated is projected to be integrated into the national grid by December of next year.

Last August, Sri Lanka issued provisional approval to Adani Green Energy to build two wind power projects – 286 MW in Mannar and 234 MW in Pooneryn for an investment of over $500 million.

“Progress of the 500 MW Renewable Energy Project in Mannar and Pooneryn was discussed with Anil Sardana, MD & CEO of Adani Transmission Ltd & project management team” Minister Wijesekera had said in a statement. 

ALSO READ-Lanka’s domestic debt optimisation plan gets nod

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Solar set to revolutionise India’s power sector

Floatavoltaics – or floating power plants – are the buzzword in the energy sector this month…reports Asian Lite News

Photovoltaic is a word we can’t escape when we talk about solar energy. However, what’s making a buzz in the energy spectrum in April 2023 is floatavoltaic – solar panels or photovoltaics mounted on a structure that floats on a body of water.

In line with this fairly nascent technology comes the Union Ministry of Power’s statement on March 3 mandating all new thermal power plants, starting commercial operations after April 1, 2023, to ensure that 40 percent of their total power production comes from renewable energy.

Being touted as the next big thing in the renewable energy world, the encomiums for floatavoltaic come from none other than Nature, the British weekly scientific, peer-reviewed research in its March 2023 edition. Floating solar panels placed on reservoirs around the world could generate enough energy to power thousands of cities, the science weekly stated. Incidentally, India stands fourth globally in Solar Power capacity (as per REN21 Renewables 2022 Global Status Report) and floating solar power plants are what the country is titled towards, and for a good reason.

Energy giants are scrambling towards solar power. Three days ago, on April 2, Mohali-based Hartek Group announced starting work on a 22 MW floating solar PV power project on Nangal Pond in Himachal Pradesh. This January, Madhya Pradesh announced its ambitious plan of starting three new floating solar projects worth Rs 7,500 Cr investment, including the world’s largest floating solar power plant over the Omkareshwar Dam in Khandwa. The ₹3000 crore project is expected to generate 600 MW power by 2022-23.

Last year, NTPC Ramagundam made the world sit up when it announced that its floating plant was fully operational. The Ramagundam Floating Solar PV Project at Ramagundam, Telangana, has a total capacity of 100 MW. On July 1, 2022, NTPC certified the project’s last 20 MW of capacity to be commercially operational. Are floating solar projects the power plants of the future? Or is it just the initial euphoria of heliophiles?

Floating solar power plants feature solar panels placed typically on a reservoir or a lake or any water body. It’s a no-brainer why the floatavoltaic is the first love of solar energy experts. This floating technology powered by water’s buoyancy is capable of creating power and conserving water without the need to procure land. The Indian law states that all rivers and streams are public property and the governments yield power over it. That’s half the battle won for energy generators.

Due to the presence of floating solar panels, the evaporation rate from water bodies is reduced. About 32.5 lakh cubic meters per year of water evaporation can be avoided. “The water body underneath the solar modules helps in maintaining their ambient temperature, thereby improving their efficiency and generation. Similarly, while coal consumption of 1,65,000 tons can be avoided per year; Co2 emission of 2,10,000 tons per year can be avoided,” the PSU informed.

The solar modules are placed on floaters manufactured with HDPE (High-Density Polyethylene) material. The system is anchored through HMPE (High Modulus Polyethylene) ropes to the dead weights placed in the balancing reservoir bed. The power is transmitted to the existing switch yard through underground cables. The electrical equipment including inverter, transformer and the panels are also on floating ferro cement platforms. The plant is anchored using dead-weight concrete blocks.

India aims to touch Net Zero Emissions by 2070 besides increasing renewables capacity to 500 GW by 2030, meeting 50% of energy requirements from renewables, and reducing emissions by one billion tonnes by 2030. It’s time power generators renew their ‘hello to Helios’ vows. The future is solar. (India News Network)

‘Nuclear sources to contribute 9% of power by 2047’

Union minister Jitendra Singh, who holds Atomic Energy and Space portfolio among others, on Sunday said that nearly one-tenth (9 per cent) share of electricity is likely to be from nuclear sources by the year 2047 — when India celebrates 100 years of its Independence.

This, he said, would help in getting closer to the commitment of achieving the net zero target by 2070. Minister Singh made these remarks after holding a review meeting with a group of senior scientists from the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), Department of Atomic Energy, in Mumbai.

At the COP26 summit in Glasgow in late 2021, Prime Minister Narendra Modi committed to an ambitious five-part “Panchamrit” pledge, including India’s commitment to net-zero emissions by 2070.

India also committed to reaching 500 GW of non-fossil electricity capacity, generating half of all energy requirements from renewables, and reducing emissions by 1 billion tons by 2030.

Further, the Minister said that the other target laid down by the Department of Atomic Energy is achieving a 20-gigawatt capacity of nuclear power generation by the year 2030, which according to him will be a major milestone placing India as the third-largest producer of atomic energy after the US and France.

Citing applications of atomic energy, Minister Singh said one hallmark of the PM Modi-led government is that for the first time, it is being used for applications in sectors like, for example, for increasing the shelf life of fruits like apples and agriculture products, for using latest technologies in the treatment of cancer and other diseases.

By doing so, he said India had shown the world how to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. (ANI)

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Solar backpacks aid students’ learning, clean energy uptake in Botswana

In the first week of April, disadvantaged children in Botswana villages such as Tshono, Mokhomba, Lefoko and Sevrelela will receive Chedza Solar Backpacks that will enable them to study at night…reports Asian Lite News

Made by Ked-Liphi, these solar backpacks are manufactured using durable and waterproof canvas and are equipped with a solar panel that absorbs sunlight during the day.

“The battery can power boost electric gadgets such as phones, tablets, as well as the bag’s built-in LED flashlight that can last up to 7 hours and can boost charge mobile gadgets to 40 percent,” the 31-year-old innovative creator of Chedza Solar Backpacks, Kedumetse Liphi told Xinhua.

The solar backpacks are expected to improve the academic performance of rural students who have no access to electricity while cutting down costs of candles and paraffin for parents and guardians who can barely afford them.

In 2021, Liphi decided to take advantage of Botswana’s high solar irradiance levels to make the backpacks. Working with social workers who identified students with the most need, Liphi will donate some of the 80 bags he has produced.

Besides enabling rural students to study at night, Liphi believes this innovation that has since attracted corporates, campers and individuals will reduce Botswana’s electricity import bill, as well as pollution.

“Chedza is a Kalanga word meaning light in English or lesedi in Setswana. Our mandate, therefore, is to light up Africa, and the future of children using this innovation,” he added.

To influence greater results in the ongoing energy transition, Liphi said his self-financed company could do with funding and support, as he imports most of his electric components from China.

What is limiting his endeavor to produce in mass is the fact that this kind of innovation requires him to have his own manufacturing plant. “This will help us with quality control and will ensure a reduced price of the product,” he said.

According to him, self-financing is a challenge, hence things are a bit slow. Though faced with financial challenges, Liphi is not discouraged because from a tender age, he nursed the desire to develop something that will have an impact on the world.

ALSO READ: Botswana seeks UAE support to fuel economy

Botswana’s electricity is mostly coal-generated. “Renewable energy is the future of energy for our country and Africa as a whole because it is cheap and we have too much sun,” he said.

When delivering the State of the Nation Address late last year, the President of Botswana, Mokgweetsi Masisi, identified clean technologies such as solar energy as key in Botswana’s commitment to the reduction of national carbon emissions.

Botswana’s Climate Change Policy, which was adopted by Parliament in April 2021, also stresses the need to minimize greenhouse gas emissions in order to achieve a sustainable environment.

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Australia plans to supply solar power to Singapore, will India follow?

Despite the elaborate plans and completed groundwork, Sun Cable’s power supply agreement with Singapore is not a done deal…reports Asian Lite News.

In one of the most ambitious solar power projects recently, Australia’s Sun Cable is in the process of setting up a $22 billion, 4,200 km power link between Singapore and Australia’s Northern Territory to supply up to 15 per cent of the city-state’s energy needs.

If the principality of Monaco and Macao Special Administrative Region are not counted, Singapore is the most densely populated sovereign state in the world with 5.5 million people cramming into about 730 square kilometres. Land and space are at a premium. Already some rooftops and bodies of water are used to harness solar power but due to the huge energy appetite of the industrial and commercial hub of Southeast Asia, this will only make a tiny dent in the island’s energy requirements.

This is where Australia’s Sun Cable project comes in. Apart from Antarctica, Australia is the driest continent in the world with 35 per cent of its landmass covered by dessert. So, it makes absolute sense to build the world’s largest solar farm there.

Singapore has a bold plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 36 per cent compared to 2005 levels by 2030. It is a highly ambitious target given the scarcity of resources required for renewable energy options on the small island. It has neither land to build wind and solar farms, nor thermal and hydroelectric power sources.

The solar power project that Sun Cable is proposing hopes to address this. Its CEO David Griffin told media that its project will help reduce Singapore’s emissions by six million tonnes of carbon dioxide-equivalent a year, matching the entire climate abatement gap of the city-state in its 2030 reduction goals.

The planned Sun Cable solar farm will be located about 700 kilometres south of Darwin, the capital of Australia’s Northern Territory state. It will cover a massive area of 120 square kilometres with 28 million solar panels and other ancillary facilities including battery storage. The company said that the plan is to have the capacity to supply 17 to 20 gigawatts of power, up from the previous 15 gigawatts.

Construction is expected to start in 2023 after completing an environmental impact study, various governmental approvals and concluding outstanding commercial and funding agreements. When it is ready in 2027, it will be the world’s largest solar farm, ten times larger than the biggest today, the 2.245-gigawatt Bhadla Solar Park in India.

A crucial approval from the Indonesian government was granted a little more than a week ago to allow the high-voltage direct current (HVDC) cables to run through its territorial waters as well as to allow Sun Cable to conduct subsea surveys in Indonesian waters to map the underwater route to Singapore. It will be the world’s longest subsea high-voltage cable.

Although Sun Cable will not supply energy directly to Indonesia, it is investing about USD 2.5 billion in procuring equipment and services, and in operational spending over the life of the project, including building a marine repair base in Indonesia.

Despite the elaborate plans and completed groundwork, Sun Cable’s power supply agreement with Singapore is not a done deal.

Singapore’s Energy Market Authority (EMA) told the Straits Times last week that discussions on Sun Cable’s proposal to supply power from Australia’s Northern Territory to Singapore are ongoing and they are unable to share details at this point due to the commercial sensitivities.

That Singapore is looking abroad for energy sources is not new. At the moment, the city-state relies mostly on natural gas for power generation and that is mainly imported from neighbours Malaysia and Indonesia.

However, Singapore is looking to diversify its energy sources as well as looking to switch to sustainable means of power generation.

Last week, Singapore third-largest power generating company, Tuas Power, announced that it has tied up with Indonesia Power and EDF Renewables to develop a framework for the import of electricity from Indonesia into Singapore.

The memorandum of understanding signed on September 29 includes a proposed 1,000 MWp (megawatt peak) solar photovoltaic plant, feasibility studies in Indonesia and its grid connection to Singapore, as well as the development of technical solutions to address issues of supply intermittency and transmission stability, Tuas Power said in a statement.

Before this, a few energy companies have earlier made moves to propel Singapore to a greener future by importing renewal energy into the country.

The Business Times Singapore reported that in March this year, solar energy provider Sunseap was forming a joint venture with Malaysia’s Tenaga Nasional Berhad to trial the import of electricity generated from solar and hydropower from Malaysia.

In September, Keppel Electric Pte Ltd, a subsidiary of Keppel Infrastructure Holdings Pte Ltd, and Electricite Du Laos signed an exclusive framework agreement as part of the Lao PDR-Thailand-Malaysia-Singapore Power Integration Project, to jointly explore opportunities to import renewable energy into Singapore.

Although India has made remarkable strides in renewable energy generation in recent years, it is not known if any Indian companies are in talks to supply renewable energy to Singapore.

Based on the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), Renewable capacity statistics 2021, India is ranked fourth in the world in terms of renewable power generating capacity as at the end of 2020. In terms of solar power generation, it is in 6th position globally. According to the Ministry of New and Renewal Energy, the country’s total installed solar capacity reached 44.3 gigawatts as of August 31 this year.

Another impressive achievement is that India reached the government’s initial 2022 target of achieving 20-gigawatt solar capacity, four years ahead of schedule. India has established around 42 solar parks with many projects under various stages of implementation and some in the tendering process.

According to IRENA, India is producing the world’s cheapest solar power due to a combination of low-priced panel imports from China, abundant land and inexpensive labour. Average solar prices from large-scale installations in India were less than a third of Canada’s, where costs were highest of the countries surveyed.

With its rapid development of renewable energy capacity and know-how, will India be exporting its energy generating capacity sometime in the future soon? (ANI)

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UPS and DP World charge e-vehicles using Expo solar power grid

From the x-ray machine to the telephone, throughout history world expos have been the home for inventions and technology that change the public’s way of life…reports Asian Lite News

Expo 2020 Dubai is no exception. As the Official Logistics Partner, UPS is working with DP World, the Official Premier Global Trade Partner of Expo, to showcase its transition to clean energy with UPS’s electrical vehicles being charged, for the first time, using an off-grid charging system to power on-site deliveries.

“Today’s deployment of one of the world’s first off-grid electric vehicle charging systems is a demonstration of how Expo 2020 is connecting minds and creating the future,” said Scott Price, president of UPS international. “Our joint efforts allow us to decentralize the charging system, eliminate the need for electricity in charging vehicles at Expo 2020 and further our goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050.”


During the six-month mega event, UPS will use the system to charge its fleet of electric vehicles, developed in collaboration with Arrival, at DP World’s FLOW Pavilion.

Sunlight will be captured by panels on the pavilion’s roof, with the solar energy flowing through an inverter to an off-grid Battery Energy Storage System unit which powers the charging station.

“DP World is proud to work with UPS, demonstrating the next generation of delivery vehicles at Expo 2020 Dubai. We are committed to digital and technological innovation that makes supply chains smarter and more sustainable. The DP World FLOW pavilion has been designed to demonstrate the future of global trade, increasing prosperity while reducing the use of energy and resources. The collaboration between UPS and DP World addresses sustainability issues and is closely aligned with the UAE’s Circular Economy Policy 2021-2031 and its Green Agenda 2030,” said Abdulla Bin Damithan, CEO and Managing Director, DP World – UAE Region and the Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza).

ALSO READ: ‘Expo a platform to amplify gender balance’

The sustainable collaboration is closely aligned with the UAE’s Circular Economy Policy 2021-2031 and its Green Agenda 2030, as well as supporting a key growth engine of Dubai’s economy through the development of cutting-edge circular economy technologies.

UPS recently released its Corporate Sustainability Report, with a goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, including fueling 40 percent of ground operations with alternative fuels by 2025.

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One in four trains could run on ‘direct’ supply from solar panels

A mix of electrification, energy efficiency and a switch to renewable energy will be needed to enable this goal…reports Asian Lite News.

The direct supply of solar energy to Indian Railway lines — without the need to connect via the grid — would save almost seven million tons of carbon a year whilst also powering at least one in four train on the national network on competitive terms, a new study by Delhi-based Climate Trends and UK-based green tech start-up Riding Sunbeams said on Wednesday.

According to the Indian Railways 2019/2020 annual report, there was passenger traffic of over 8bn in that period, which would mean that 2bn passengers could be travelling on trains directly powered by solar energy.

Prime Minister Modi recently announced that the electrification of railways in India is progressing fast, and that the target is for the Railways to be a net-zero carbon emitter by 2030.

A mix of electrification, energy efficiency and a switch to renewable energy will be needed to enable this goal.

Rail Minister Piyush Goyal has issued a directive to Indian Railways to earmark huge areas of unproductive land for solar development as part of the company’s Net Zero commitment. Plans are already underway to deliver 20GW of solar generation to match growing demand for energy to move trains.

The new analysis highlights that around a quarter of this new solar capacity — up to 5,272 MW — could be fed directly into the Railway’s overhead lines instead of being procured over the electricity networks, reducing energy losses and saving money for the rail operator.

The researchers found that substituting energy supplied from the coal-dominated grid for private-wire supply from solar could also rapidly cut emissions by as much as 6.8 million tons CO2 each year — just over the entire annual emissions of Kanpur.

Report co-author, Riding Sunbeams founder and director of innovation Leo Murray said, “Right now India is leading the world on two vital climate frontiers — rail electrification and solar power deployment. Our analysis shows that connecting these two keystone low-carbon technologies together in Indian Railways can drive both India’s economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic and its efforts to transition off fossil fuels to tackle the climate crisis.”

Report co-author and Director at Climate Trends Aarti Khosla said, “Indian Railways plays an important role in the lives of every Indian. Not only is it the most practical mode of transportation, it is also the most famous and the largest employer in the country.

“The government pumps large sums of money to modernise the railways, which, in turn, will play a large role in a net zero vision of the nation. There has been analysis that converting all diesel locomotives to electric will indeed increase the emissions in the short term, however, this report shows the tremendous opportunity of doing it right the first time, by creating a direct connection of the locomotive system to solar PV installations, meeting more than a quarter of the total demand.”

The researchers also warned, however, that achieving the target of full electrification of all routes by 2023 could be accompanied by an increase in CO2 emissions in the short term because of India’s current reliance on coal to produce electricity.

The team analysed the traction energy demand on each of India’s railway zones and matched this with the potential solar resource in each region to produce a figure for the total amount of solar energy that could be connected directly to the railway to run trains.

The top five zones with the greatest solar-to-rail potential are: South Central Railway (394-625 MW) that serves Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka and Pondicherry.

The Central Railway (299-475 MW) that caters to Maharashtra; the Northern Railway (290-459 MW) that serves Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi; Western Railway (280-443 MW) that serves Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh; and West Central Railway (278-440 MW) that caters to Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and some parts in Uttar Pradesh.

The calculations assume that all of the energy generated by the solar is used by the Railways, and do not include the potential for battery storage integration. Factoring in lower utilization rates and storage could boost solar-to-rail potential to over 40 per cent of Indian Railways’ traction energy demand.

The study explores how strategic investment in dedicated freight corridors and new high speed routes can support Indian Railways to boost passengers and freight traffic, and the key role this can play in achieving India’s national climate change commitments.

The report also highlights the problem of Indian Railways’ dependence on coal, both as an energy source and as its key freight commodity, accounting for almost a third of its revenue in 2018-19.

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India’s largest floating solar project commissioned

This is also the first solar project to be set up under the Flexibilisation Scheme….reports Asian Lite News

The National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC ) Ltd. has commissioned India’s largest floating solar Photovoltaic (PV) project of 25MW on the reservoir of its Simhadri thermal station in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh.

This is also the first solar project to be set up under the Flexibilisation Scheme.

The floating solar installation which has a unique anchoring design is spread over 75 acres in an RW reservoir.

According to the Ministry of Power, this solar project has the potential to generate electricity from more than 1 lakh solar PV modules.

“This would not only help to light around 7,000 households but also ensure at least 46,000 tons of CO2e are kept at arm’s length every year during the lifespan of this project,” the Power Ministry said.

The project is also expected to save 1,364 million litres of water per annum. This would be adequate to meet the yearly water requirements of 6,700 households.

The 2000 MW coal-based Simhadri Station is the first power project to implement an open sea intake from the Bay of Bengal which has been functional for more than 20 years.

According to the statement, NTPC is also planning to set up a hydrogen-based micro-grid system on a pilot basis at Simhadri.

With a total installed capacity of 66900 MW, NTPC Group has 71 Power stations including 29 Renewable projects. NTPC has set a target to install 60 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy (RE) capacity by 2032. NTPC is also India’s first energy company to declare its energy compact goals as part of the UN High-level Dialogue on Energy (HLDE).

The group has over 17 GW of capacity under construction, including 5 GW of renewable energy projects. Uninterrupted supply of electricity through environment-friendly energy projects at affordable prices has been the hallmark of NTPC.(India News Network)

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Solar power projects create employment in UP

The huge investments being made by companies in the solar energy sector have opened up great opportunities for permanent employment in Uttar Pradesh…reports Asian Lite News.

The UP government’s Solar Energy Policy 2017 is not only dispelling darkness from every village of the state, but also creating plethora of opportunities for people to earn their living from it.

According to the government spokesman, in the last four and a half years, solar power projects of 1,370 MW capacity have been commissioned while projects of another 417 MW capacity are under construction.

Big investors are coming forward to invest in solar energy sector in the state.

Besides, several investment proposals for solar power projects are currently under government’s consideration.

“The government has set a target to achieve 10,700 MW capacity solar power generation by the year 2022, and is working on plans for setting up a solar park and an ultra-mega solar park in the state,” the spokesman said.

With these efforts, thousands of people have got employment in solar energy projects in UP while power supply has become more regular in rural areas and the environment is also benefiting with increasing use of renewable solar energy. The business of solar panels, solar lights, solar batteries and solar cookers has also picked up in the state, providing jobs to thousands of people.

The Solar Energy Policy 2017 provides open access to companies for the establishment of solar park and third-party sale of solar energy.

Under the provisions of this policy, 100 per cent stamp duty exemption and 100 per cent exemption in electricity duty for 10 years is being given to investors through online single window clearance system.

This has led to 11 private companies in solar energy sector set up their plants in seven districts of the state, namely Bundelkhand, Banda, Chitrakoot, Hamirpur, Mahoba, Jalaun, Jhansi and Lalitpur to date. The solar power units are generating more than 550 MW of electricity daily.

Solar energy production has also started in Chhibo village of Chitrakoot, with the commissioning of a 25 MW solar power plant by a private company.

Besides, the REC Power Distribution Company is setting up a 50 MW solar power plant in Kanpur (Dehat) and 75 MW solar plant in Jalaun.

Many other private companies are also setting up solar power plants in different districts of the state.

Furthermore, 19,579 solar pumps have been installed to benefit farmers.

The business of installation and sale of solar lights and panels has picked up in UP because of the government’s initiatives to promote use of solar energy in the state. Shops dealing in solar panels, solar lights, solar cookers and solar batteries have opened in every district and block of the state.

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India has largest solar programme, says Jaishankar

Agreeing with Blair, Jaishankar said: “It is the burning issue right now and it will not happen unless enough capabilities are spread around the world and vaccines are a very good example.”…reports Asian Lite News.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Wednesday said India has been pushing a lot of green energy projects and that it has the world’s largest solar programme.

“India, on its part, has been pushing a lot of green energy projects, one in India itself. Today, we have one of the largest solar programmes in the world and we have also been using both bilateral partnership programmes and International Solar Alliance to push green electricity generation, especially in Africa,” the EAM said while participating at India Global Forum 2021.

“We finance development using soft loans by eschewing lending. We could actually take the world in a certain direction so if we did more green lending, the world will be moving in that direction,” he added.

The EAM, however, said: “There aren’t too many climate sceptics in our part of the world. In fact, there will be more in the developed countries. The issue isn’t recognising the problem, it is resourcing the solution. And the real worry is if you look at the history of how we have dealt with climate change, we have seen promises year after year, conference after conference, we have seen a continuous inability to live up to the promises.”

“I don’t think the activity today should be to raise awareness and tell people that we have a big problem. The real issue is do we have a commitment to put into the resources to deal with that? And that’s something which particularly the countries which have occupied a lot of carbon space have to find answers to,” he added.

Meanwhile, speaking on the private sector rising to the challenge of climate change, Blair said: “India is going to carry on great. I mean, by the middle of the century, India, China and America are going to be the three largest economies of all. If we want India to grow sustainably, we have got to be there as a partner in helping it to do so.”

On the issue of COVID-19, Blair called it a “geopolitical issue” and highlighted that the world is still dealing with new variants in countries like India, UK, Brazil and South Africa. He added that “we are likely to get new variants”.


“We have to back vaccines, we have to carry out vaccine production and we have to coordinate that vaccine production so that we are creating enough vaccines to, I would like to say, at least the most vulnerable, the frontline health workers and the working populations vaccinated this year and then the job completed by next year,” he said, while stressing that the best for this is presenting global cooperation as enlightened self-interest.

Agreeing with Blair, Jaishankar said: “It is the burning issue right now and it will not happen unless enough capabilities are spread around the world and vaccines are a very good example.”

He said that the world has to come together to scale up COVID-19 vaccines and address other challenges at the same time.

“We are still in the middle of a second national wave. At one level, it was a very scary experience in which the virulence was so great, but on the other hand, we did see the world rally around. That may not have solved the problem, but at least now I would say compared to last year, 2021 was the beginning of the willingness of the world to work together on this problem,” he remarked.

The External Affairs Minister said that the COVID-19 pandemic has taken health right up the priority list, citing African nations working with India to strengthen health infrastructure.

Weighing in on the future of global governance, he asserted that the new world agenda is much greener, health-conscious, much more digital.

Arguing that India is proposing reforms of the multilateral institutions beyond merely seeking an expansion of the permanent members in the UN Security Council, Jaishankar said, “75 years is a long time. It needs a refresh. It needs an update. We need a new agenda, system and process out there. We can’t have people who benefited at one point in history from a certain set of circumstances who can kind of freeze it and say that’s how the world’s going to be forever”.

During the conversation, Jaishankar also jumped into the Big Tech debate which has been raging particularly in India in the last few months. Without explicitly referring to the Indian government’s steps to hold these companies accountable, Jaishankar opined that they need to accept more responsibility.

“Big Tech is there. It is visible in my life. You have a big presence. Where is the responsibility? They have huge power. Where is the accountability? This is not an issue limited to India. They harvest all data across the world. What happens when you have non-state players who in some way are bigger than many many states? So these are very serious questions that need debating. I think they can’t be brushed under the carpet saying you shouldn’t question them because you are attacking freedom of speech. I think that’s a cop-out because it serves their interests,” EAM S Jaishankar noted. (INN)

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Dubai firm uses solar power to make water out of air

The new technology uses solar energy to power a fan that draws in air, which then goes through a sponge-like material where water molecules are absorbed….reports Asian Lite News

A Dubai-based company is using solar energy to produce water out of air. Source Global, which was established in Dubai in 2017, recently introduced sun-powered hydro-panels to make clean drinking water.

It is aiming to get 75 percent of its energy use from clean sources by 2050, CNN reported.

“These hydro panels are effectively producing high quality drinking water day in, day out without requiring any infrastructure, any power or any type of grid,” the company’s Vice President Vahid Fotuhi told CNN in an interview.

The new technology uses solar energy to power a fan that draws in air, which then goes through a sponge-like material where water molecules are absorbed.

Source Global, which operates in 48 countries, chose Dubai to develop its biggest water farm because of the emirate’s keenness to invest in innovation, Fotuhi said.

“First of all, the fact that it is a hub for the Middle East Africa region, it also is a center for new innovations for key sectors, such as agriculture and water,” he explained.

Technologies that turn air into water are not new, but Fotuhi said they want to make it more sustainable by adopting a clean energy strategy.

Experts said the challenge with these technologies is distribution, but Source Global thinks getting people on board harder.

People here are accustomed to a staple solution for water generation and what we’re proposing is kind of diversified menu effectively,” he said. “As with most disruptive technologies, initially people are hesitant to change.”

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