Many more needed: A warmer planet could make air-conditioning a critical requirement in developing nations

India launches energy efficient air-conditioning programme

India launched a “super efficient” air conditioning programme that plans to make ACs that are 30% cheaper and 40% more efficient than the 3-star ACs currently sold in the market. The Centre’s Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) will set up the infrastructure to make the ACs, which will be initially sold to Delhi consumers, before the programme is launched in the rest of the country at an estimated investment of  $211 million. EESL expects to recover the investment through consumer sales. India’s power demand is expected to increase four times in the next 12 years. Mercom reported that EESL expects the ACs to cut the peak power demand in south and west Delhi by 22 MW. The scheme will help India meet its Paris and Kigali climate targets to phase out hydrochlorofluorocarbons.

Rajasthan again: Lowest quoted tariff dips to ₹2.48/kWh

For the sun-rich state of Rajasthan, tariff quote dropped to Rs2.48/kWh ($0.0349) at the 750 MW solar auction conducted by the Centre’s Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI). Fortum (250 MW), ACME (250 MW), Sitara Solar (100 MW), and Palimarwar Solar (40 MW), quoted the lowest tariff. ReNew Power got 110MW of the 300MW it bid for. The upper tariff ceiling was ₹2.68 (~$0.0375)/kWh. The tariff has fallen further from the ₹2.55 (~$0.035)/kWh recorded two days ago at another SECI auction. Experts say, Rajasthan attracts lowest bids because it has a great transmission infrastructure, ample substations, cheap land and high solar irradiance.

Another anti-dumping duty on solar imports possibly in the offing

After safeguard duty on solar imports from China and Malaysia, India now plans to impose an anti-dumping duty on a particular type of solar sheet from China, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and Thailand for five years, to protect domestic manufacturers from cheap imports from these countries, Economic Times reported. India’s Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR) has recommended the duty in the range of $537 to $1,559 per tonne on imports of “Ethylene Vinyl Acetate sheet for solar module”. The Centre is yet to take a final call on the imposition of duty.

France added 1.5GW wind power in 2018

According to Reuters, France added 1.5 GW wind power capacity in 2018, taking its total installed power generation from wind turbines to 15.1 GW. The report adds that the power production from renewable wind sources was at 26.1 terawatt hour (TWh) in 2018, compared with 22.6 TWh a year ago, and accounted for 5.5% of French electricity consumption during the year. The French government also announced that the grid-connected solar power sources increased their installed capacity by 9 GW in December 2018, short of its 10 GW target, after 862 megawatts (MW) of projects were added during the calendar year, Reuters added.

Shell to invest in UK offshore wind market, despite impending Brexit

Driven by investor demands to curb emissions, Shell plans to invest in the UK offshore wind market despite Britain’s impending exit from the European Union, Reuters reported. Shell is acquiring seabed leases and buying stakes in existing projects. Britain has the world’s largest offshore wind energy installations, nearly 40% of all global wind capacity. Earlier, Shell pledged to spend $1 billion to $2 billion annually on green technology. Many international firms, such as automakers and nuclear plant developers, have shied away from fresh investment in the UK, with Brexit creating uncertainty over the future of the country’s economy.

Google seeks tax breaks for $600M data center in Minnesota

Google will set up a $600 million wind-powered data center in central Minnesota for which the tech giant wants the government to waive 20 years’ worth of future taxes, AP reported.
Google has sought property tax breaks that would save the company up to $15 million. Google says the project would bring an estimated 50 full-time tech jobs to the area and help ease the transition away from a coal-based economy amid the Sherco plant’s impending closure.

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