News & Editorial Analysis 05 JUNE 2023
The Hindu News Analysis
1 – National Electricity Plan 2022-2032:
Government Policies and Interventions
The National Electricity Plan (NEP) for the years 2022–2032 has been made public by the Central Electricity Authority (CEA).
According to the Electricity Act of 2003, the CEA (Ministry of Power, GoI) is required to develop a NEP in accordance with the National Electricity Policy to:
Make short-term (15-year) and long-term (every five years) strategies.
Analyses the problems, power sources, and predicted growth for India’s current and future electrical needs.
To ensure that resources are used as effectively as possible, different planning authorities should coordinate their activities.
Support the economic requirements of the nation.
A comprehensive Plan for 2017–22 and a prospective Plan for 2022–27 are included in the third National Electricity Plan, which was published in 2018 after the first two were published in 2007 and 2013.
The NEP 2022–32: The plan document contains an analysis of the previous five years (2017–22), a detailed plan for the following five years (202–27), and an anticipated plan for the following five years (2027–32).
Key NEP 2022–2032 estimates include:
It would be 609,591 MW by 2026–2027, consisting of:
In addition to 336,553 MW of renewable capacity (large hydro-52,446 MW, solar-185,566 MW, wind-72,895 MW, small hydro-5,200 MW, biomass-13,000 MW, pump storage plants-7,446 MW), there are 273,038 MW of conventional capacity (coal-235,133 MW, gas-24,824 MW, nuclear-13,080 MW).
The battery energy storage system (BESS) capacity of 8,680 MW/34,720 MWh is also included in the renewable-based capacity.
It is anticipated to reach 900,422 MW by 2031 and include:
conventional capacity of 304,147 MW (coal 259,643 MW, gas 24,824 MW, and nuclear 19,680 MW) and renewable capacity of 596,275 MW (66%) (large hydro 62,178 MW, solar 364,566 MW, wind 121,895 MW, small hydro 5,450 MW, biomass 15,500 MW, and pump storage plants 26,686 MW).
BESS has a 47,244 MW/236,220 MWh capacity.
Important conclusions from the NEP 2022–32:
India has pledged to generate half of its installed electricity from renewable sources by 2030, however this goal might be reached by 2026–2027.
The percentage of non-fossil capacity is predicted to rise from about 42.5% as of April 2023 to 4% by 2026–2027 and to 68.4% by 2031–2022.
Targets that are ambitious yet attainable: These goals depend on the government providing a lot of assistance to business.
Old goals have not been met. For instance, the Centre had promised to install 100 GW (one GW is equal to 1,000 MW) of solar power by 2022, but only 64 GW was actually installed.
Installed capacity does not always correspond to power generated: Due to the availability and efficiency of various energy sources, which vary.
For instance, wind energy is subject to the whims of the weather while solar energy is only available during the day.
The distant future (according to the National Electricity Plan for 2022-27):
The models of the hybrid generation: This will make it possible to switch to solar power and give backup electricity.
Water is lifted to the reservoir during charging in systems that use this method, and when the water is released, it generates energy.
Source à The Hindu
2 – Semiconductor Manufacturing in India:
Government Policies and Interventions
It seems that India’s goal of producing semiconductor chips is taking longer to come true.
Three companies who filed to make the chips (Vedanta-Foxconn, the international consortium ISMC, and Singapore-based IGSS Ventures) are having trouble establishing their production facilities in India.
The Centre had three proposals to establish a fab (fabrication/production) in the nation after learning that the country’s semiconductor market was expected to reach $63 billion in value by 2026.
What obstacles are there?
Vedanta-Foxconn has trouble locating a tech partner who would provide them a licence to use their technology to produce 28-nanometer chips.
Due to an impending merger between Intel and Tower Semiconductor, ISMC (supported by Abu Dhabi-based Next Orbit and Israel’s Tower Semiconductor) has asked that its proposal not be taken into consideration. IGSS Venture’s application from Singapore was also rejected by the government advisory group.
Semiconductors are substances with conductivities ranging from:
metal conductors, often, at high temperatures.
insulators or non-conductors (like the majority of ceramics) at low temperatures.
Microchips, integrated circuits (ICs), and semiconductors can be made from either pure elements like silicon or germanium or from compounds like gallium arsenide or cadmium selenide.
Doping is a type of impurity that is applied in small amounts to pure semiconductors, changing the conductivity of the material dramatically.
The recent shortage of semiconductor chips has a specific impact on the worldwide automobile manufacturing business.
Why does India promote the production of semiconductors?
India has selected electronics manufacturing as a vital industry that will help it accelerate its growth by producing goods both for the domestic market and for international markets.
Apple is now the market leader in smartphone manufacturing in the nation, but the majority of the work is still spent putting different foreign parts together.
India has prioritised chip production as part of its economic goal to develop a domestic electronics supply chain and reduce imports, particularly from China (by enticing international corporations).
The Semicon India Programme, which was established in 2021 and has a budget of Rs 76,000 crore, aims to promote the growth of the Indian semiconductor and display manufacturing industries.
The foregoing obstacles will have an effect on India’s ambitious goal of becoming a world semiconductor centre within the next five years.
The Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) has decided to reopen the application period for its proposal to manufacture semiconductors for 76,000 crores of rupees.
India has an opportunity to establish itself as a trustworthy location as more businesses attempt to diversify their bases from China.
India may offer subsidies for domestic chip production along the lines of the CHIPS Act in the USA.
Source à The Hindu
3 – Yakshagana:
The end of the Yakshagana performances in Karnataka’s coastal districts no longer coincides with the arrival of the monsoon. Yakshagana Theatre is prospering all year round because to the numerous venues that have popped up during the past ten years.
Yakshagana is a type of Karnataka traditional theatre.
Massive headgear, intricate facial makeup, and colourful costumes and accessories are used during performance.
It is typically performed in Kannada, however it is also done in Malayalam and Tulu (a south Karnataka dialect).
Cymbals such the chenda, maddalam, jagatta, or chengila as well as smaller cymbals like the chakratala or elathalam are used to execute it.
It was performed in the Vijayanagar dynasty’s royal courts by a unique group known as Jakkula Varu.
The names Aata Bayalaata, Kelike, and Dashavatara are the ancestors of the word “yakshagana.”
Researchers and intellectuals have classified the Yakshagana dance form into two divisions.
The eastern parts of Karnataka fall under the first category, Moodalopaya.
The second group of Yakshagana, known as Paduvlopaya, covers Uttara Kannada, Kasaragod, Udupi, and the western regions of the state of Karnataka.
Source à The Hindu
4 – PM Svanidhi Scheme:
Government Policies and Interventions
To make applying for loans under the PM SVANidhi scheme easier for street sellers, the Central government has released a smartphone app.
The app attempts to improve accessibility for suppliers and speed the procedure.
The introduction of the “Udyam” registration certificate also makes it easier for street vendors to register their businesses.
In 2020, the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan established the Central Sector Scheme PM SVANidhi.
To support street vendors impacted by Covid-19 lockdowns with reasonable working capital loans.
The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs provides whole funding.
Term of Lending:
Until December 2024 now.
Up to $10,000 first loan; $20,000 second loan; and $50,000 third loan.
A loan interest subsidy of 7%.
Component of “SVANidhi Se Samriddhi”:
It depicts the socioeconomic makeup of the beneficiaries’ family.
Subject to publication of rules and programmes under the Street sellers (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act of 2014, available to street sellers operating in metropolitan areas.
As of June 30, 2023, more than 36 lakh street vendors had received microcredits, demonstrating the program’s success.
Benefits under the PM SVANidhi Scheme are expected to be distributed to 42 lakh street vendors by December 2024.
Source à The Hindu
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The Hindu Editorial Analysis
INTERNATIONAL TRADE HAS A CARBON PROBLEM:
The Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM), a crucial climate measure of the European Union (EU), has alarmed India.
The fundamental problem:
New Delhi worries that CBAM will make it impossible for it to export carbon-intensive goods to the EU.
India has reportedly criticised CBAM as being discriminatory and protectionist, despite the fact that its exports to the EU are barely 1.8% of its overall exports and are limited to steel, iron, and aluminium.
Dispute resolution proceedings against the CBAM at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) are also being discussed.
The connections between trade and the environment are highlighted by this discussion.
Although the international trade system permits nations to adopt unilateral environmental protection measures, environmental conservation should not be used as a cover for trade protectionism. This perspective must be used while looking at the CBAM.
Emissions Trading System (ETS) information:
The Emissions Trading System (ETS), a significant climate change programme, was established by the EU in 2005.
The ETS, which is currently in its fourth stage, is a market-based mechanism that seeks to lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by enabling GHG emitting entities to purchase and sell their emissions among one another.
Although the EU has a mechanism for its domestic industries, it is worried that emissions in items imported from other nations may not be charged similarly because of a lack of strict laws or because those nations have less strict policies.
The EU is concerned that this may disadvantage its industries. The EU’s affected industries have up until this point been given free allowances or permits under the ETS to combat this.
The EU also recognises the ‘carbon leakage’ problem, which is the possibility that European businesses engaged in carbon-intensive industries may relocate to nations with less restrictive GHG emission standards as a result of the implementation of the ETS.
The goal of CBAM is to solve this conundrum and level the playing field for EU industries.
Imports of some carbon-intensive goods, like as cement, iron and steel, energy, fertilisers, aluminium, and hydrogen, will be subject to the same financial burdens as EU producers under the ETS under the CBAM.
The price to be paid will be based on the ETS’s weekly average price for emissions.
However, a decrease can be asserted where a carbon price has been expressly paid for the imported goods in their place of origin.
The effects on India:
The EU represents 11.1% of India’s total international trade, according to figures from the commerce ministry, and is the third-largest commercial partner of India.
This levy might reduce demand by making Indian products less appealing to consumers and raising their prices in the EU.
Companies with a high carbon footprint would face substantial short-term issues as a result of the tax, and the world trading system would be further disrupted by increased protectionism, trade wars, and renegotiations.
The carbon tax method would encourage the use of cleaner technology, but without sufficient funding and support for newer technologies, it would be equivalent to taxing poor nations.
India must develop and guard its market in the EU. India currently has a surplus with the EU in both commerce and services.
In order to protect its exports to the EU through a free trade agreement or other means, India should have bilateral discussions with the EU. If India needs to make any adjustments or adhere to any norms, it should look forward to doing so.
India is a significantly smaller exporter of steel and aluminium than other nations, and it does not export cement or fertilisers to the EU.
India is not the goal of this EU policy; rather, it is Russia, China, and Turkey, which are important producers of steel and aluminium as well as large carbon emitters.
There isn’t much of a rationale for India to lead the opposition. Instead, it ought to have a bilateral discussion and resolve the matter with the EU.
India only needs to adapt and design its existing climate change mitigation measures so that they are consistent with the country’s key markets.
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The Indian Express Editorial Analysis
OIL RESERVES IN INDIA:
In keeping with the government’s goal of expanding the nation’s strategic oil storage capacity, the government-owned engineering consultancy firm Engineers India (EIL) is now researching the potential and viability of creating salt cavern-based strategic oil reserves in Rajasthan.
India might obtain the country’s first oil storage facility built inside a salt cavern if the plan is realised.
The three strategic oil storage sites now in use by the nation are located in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Mangaluru, and Padur in Karnataka.
Indian strategic crude oil reserve position:
The Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserve (ISPRL), a special purpose company under the Petroleum Ministry, is responsible for managing India’s strategic oil reserves. EIL played a crucial role in establishing the nation’s current SPR as the project management advisor.
Strategic crude oil reserve building by nations helps to reduce significant supply disruptions in the global supply chain.
India, the third-largest consumer of oil in the world, imports more than 85% of what it needs, therefore strategic petroleum reserves (SPR) could be useful in ensuring energy security and availability in times of emergency or disruption in the world’s supply.
India now has 5.33 million tonnes of SPR capacity, which can provide the country’s needs for 9.5 days. At Chandikhol in Odisha (4 million tonnes) and Padur (2.5 million tonnes), the nation is currently enlarging its SPR capacity by a total of 6.5 million tonnes.
Rock-based reserves against salt-based reserves:
Salt caverns are created through the process of solution mining, which entails pumping water into geological formations containing significant salt deposits to dissolve the salt. This method differs from the excavation method used to create underground rock caverns.
Crude oil can be stored in the area once brine (water with dissolved salt) has been pumped out of the deposit. Compared to creating excavated rock caverns, the procedure is easier, quicker, and less expensive.
Oil storage facilities built in salt caverns are also naturally well-sealed and designed for quick injection and extraction of oil. According to a report by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Environmental Solutions Initiative, this makes them a more desirable alternative than storing oil in other geological formations.
These caves are ideal for storage because the salt that lines the interior of them has a very low oil absorption, which offers a natural impermeable barrier against liquid and gaseous hydrocarbons. Furthermore, salt cavern-based storages can be built and maintained almost entirely from the surface, unlike rock caverns.
Up to this point, the entire SPR programme of the United States has relied on storage facilities built in salt caverns. The US Strategic Petroleum Reserve is made up of four locations with deep underground storage caverns built in salt domes along the Gulf of Mexico coast in Texas and Louisiana. It is the largest emergency oil storage facility in the world. The total storage capacity of the US strategic oil reserves is about 727 million barrels.
In some places of the world, liquid fuels and natural gas are also kept in salt caverns. They are also thought to be excellent for storing hydrogen and compressed air.
Possibility of storing crude and petroleum products in India:
The state of Rajasthan is seen to be the most suitable for creating strategic storage facilities based on salt caverns because it holds the majority of the necessary salt deposits in India.
The examination of the prospect of salt cavern-based strategic storage in Rajasthan might be considered as a repeat of the idea made ten years ago, according to Vartika Shukla, Chairman and Managing Director of EIL. Plans to establish a strategic oil reserve in Bikaner did not materialise.
There will soon be a refinery built in Barmer, and crude pipelines also exist in Rajasthan; such infrastructure is ideal for creating strategic oil reserves. However, neither EIL nor any other Indian enterprise have the necessary technical know-how to construct a salt cavern-based strategic hydrocarbon storage system.
Programme for Strategic Petroleum Reserves: Up to this Point:
The endeavour to develop adequate emergency stocks along the lines of the reserves that the US and its Western allies established following the first oil crisis of the 1970s includes India’s strategic oil reserves. The three facilities that are currently based in rock caverns were constructed during the program’s initial phase.
In the case of supply disruptions brought on by a natural disaster or any unanticipated worldwide event that causes an extraordinary rise in prices, crude oil from the reserves is to be released by an empowered committee established by the government.
All nations are advised to maintain an emergency oil stockpile large enough to cover 90 days of import protection by the International Energy Agency (IEA), a Paris-based autonomous international institution in which India is a ‘Association’ member.
In India, the oil marketing companies (OMCs) have storage facilities for crude oil and petroleum products for 64.5 days, which implies there is enough storage to cover around 74 days of the country’s petroleum demand. These facilities, in addition to the SPR, are adequate to meet 9.5 days of the country’s oil requirement.
The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) stockpiled around 0.8 million tonnes of crude oil in the Mangaluru strategic reserve as part of India’s decision to commercialise its strategic petroleum reserves.
In order to cut costs and maximise the reserves’ commercial potential, the government plans to create strategic reserves through public-private partnerships in the second phase of the strategy.
The government fully stocked these reserves in April and May 2020 by taking advantage of the low price of crude oil, resulting in expected savings of almost Rs 5,000 crore.
As part of a coordinated US-led response by major oil consuming countries to the united decision of major oil producing nations to reduce output, India released 5 million barrels from its strategic reserves in late 2021.
With salt cavern-based storage, which is thought to be less expensive and labour- and money-intensive than rock caverns, India’s SPR story may receive a much-needed new chapter.
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