News Bulletin : May 2021 – Issue 1

1. Eco-Friendly Concrete Solutions for the Protection of Marine and Coastal Infrastructure: Coastal Infrastructure

The adverse effect that human activity is having on the planet is becoming more apparent each day. Ecological damage is one of the most pressing issues that world leaders and companies seek to address at the moment. Finding sustainable solutions for marine and coastal infrastructure is one issue that is of particular concern to governments and companies worldwide. Luckily, there are companies providing these solutions at the moment, and one of them is ECOncrete. It is estimated that around 40% of the world\’s population lives within 100 km of a coastline, and this is predicted to grow further over the coming years. Three billion people worldwide rely on marine and coastal ecosystems for food, building materials, and agricultural and recreation areas. This leaves a significant and growing proportion of humans vulnerable to intensifying climate-change-related extreme weather events, rising sea levels, and erosion. Source: AZOCleantech

2. Planet Ocean – Why Is the Blue Economy So Important? : Economic Zones and Business Parks

The Earth could have been called Planet Ocean. In fact, oceans are our planet’s largest life support system. About 70% of the planet’s surface is covered by water, and 97% of this water is found in the oceans. In addition, ocean currents govern the world’s weather and its dependent biomes. For centuries, a planetary equilibrium in the ocean’s overturning circulation (the flow of warm, salty water in upper layers of the ocean, and the opposite flow of cold water in lower layers) created stable conditions for the atmosphere and made life possible below water – and on land. Today, that equilibrium has been broken: the growing emission of greenhouse gases, primarily due to human activities, has interrupted the energy balance, heating the oceans and altering their ability to absorb these gases. In turn, this upended equilibrium has modified the overturning circulation, altering the transport of nutrients with the consequent loss of life. It has also increased the oceans’ acidification to a degree that can potentially collapse rich ecosystems and entire habitats. Source: Forbes

3. World’s most powerful tidal turbine launches in Dundee : Floating Structures

The 680-tonne structure is being towed to Orkney where it will harness the strong tidal current to generate enough energy to power up to 2000 homes. The 2MW tidal turbine, the Orbital O2, was transferred from the quayside in Dundee into the River Tay using a submersible barge. Speaking of the launch, Orbital’s CEO, Andrew Scott, said: “This is a huge milestone for Orbital; the O2 is a remarkable example of British cleantech innovation and the build we have completed here is an inspiring display of what a UK supply chain can achieve if given the opportunity – even under the extraordinary pressures of a pandemic.” Source: STV News

4. The seas must become India’s opportunity region in the coming future, says the Navy Chief : Inland Waterways

In his address during a webinar on ‘Securing the Blue Economy’, the Indian Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh said that the Blue Economy offers a huge opportunity for India. “The Blue Economy contributes about 4 per cent of India’s GDP, there is tremendous potential to expand its contribution.” With India aiming to emerge as a $5 trillion economy, the only way to achieve this, is to move outwards as the oceans provide a vast resource pool, says the Indian Navy Chief. Source: Financial Express

5. Oxygen crisis highlights India’s logistics problem : Logistics

Global media headlines and visuals this week, despite stern letters of protests from our diplomatic missions abroad to editors of western media outlets, have tended to focus on one thing: India’s explosion of Coronavirus cases, and the heart breaking sights of patients desperately waiting for hospital beds, even as relatives run around trying to arrange oxygen cylinders and medicines, and hospitals sending out SOS’s for oxygen supplies in social media. Source: The Hindu Business Line

6. Cabinet approves ₹14,788 crore Bengaluru metro link to connect airport : Metro

The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Tuesday approved the construction of 58.19 km of Bangalore Metro Rail Project that will help improve connectivity to the airport and ease traffic congestion. “The total completion cost of the project is ₹14,788.101 crore,\” the government said in a statement. Briefing reporters after the cabinet meeting, India’s minister for railways, commerce and industry and consumer affairs, food and public distribution Piyush Goyal also said the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved an exclusive subsidy policy for urea produced by Talcher Fertilizers Ltd. The plant involving an investment of ₹13,277 crore is India’s first fertiliser project to use coal-gasification technology and is expected to help in reducing yearly urea imports to the tune of 12.7 lakh metric tonne. Source: Livemint

7. How Maruti Suzuki used Indian Railways to cut down on CO2 emissions : Railways

Maruti Suzuki is the first auto manufacturer in the country to obtain Automobile Freight Train Operator (AFTO) license. Maruti Suzuki India Limited today announced that it has transported over 7.2 lakh vehicles using Indian railways in the past five years. In 2020-21, more than 1.8 lakh vehicles took the rail route for transportation, the highest-ever railway dispatch by the company, as against nearly 88,000 units in 2016-17. The increased focus on using railways has helped the company offset over 3,200 MT of CO2 emissions, cumulatively. The company has been progressively increasing the use of railways for its vehicle transportation. Transportation by rail exceeded 1.8 lakh in 2020-21, which accounts for nearly 13% of total sales in the same period. Source: Financial Express

8. Corporate funding in the solar sector increases by 21% in Q1 2021 : Renewable Energy

Mercom Capital Group has released its report on funding and merger and acquisition (M&A) activity for the global solar sector in the first quarter of 2021. Total corporate funding, including venture capital funding, public market, and debt financing into the solar sector in Q1 2021, came to $8.1 billion in 36 deals, a 21% increase compared to $6.7 billion in 43 deals in Q4 2020. Raj Prabhu, CEO of Mercom Capital Group, said: “Financing activity in the solar sector started strong in 2021 with Q1 numbers up substantially year-over-year. Even though solar stocks lost some of their spark in the first quarter after an unprecedented run in 2020, a big IPO and record securitisation activity lifted overall fundraising totals. Solar assets continue to be in great demand with almost 15 GW of projects acquired in Q1.” Source: Smart Energy

9. Modernised building utilities save money and resources : Resources and Utilities

Water resources are under significant pressure, pushed to the brink by the modernising world, rapid urbanisation, and population growth. Utility management philosophies had not considered these long-term pressures, particularly not where it concerns water. Indeed, even today, many resource management plans at sites such as factories and housing complexes treat water in a monolithic way. Often, they don’t have a choice – older water infrastructure doesn’t provide the nuance and visibility to truly appreciate where we can be more efficient and intelligent with water use. Xylem’s slogan is to ‘Lets Solve Water’, and we often encounter this situation. Though there is an appreciation that we need to take water management more seriously, the means to do so are often unavailable. This naturally leads to a cost concern – replacing water infrastructure sounds expensive, and thus the best intentions get blunted or waylaid by financial barriers. Source: CBN

10. Government targets road construction worth Rs.15 lakh crore in next two years : Roads and Highways

Minister for Road Transport & Highways and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Shri Nitin Gadkari said that the Government is giving utmost priority to the development of infrastructure and has set a target of road construction of worth Rs.15 lakh crores in next two years. Shri Gadkari was confident that the Ministry for Road Transport & Highways will achieve target of 40 kilometres per day of highways construction in current fiscal. He said that the Government is permitting 100% FDI in road sector. Source: PIB

11. Sunlight to solve the world’s clean water crisis : Water and Environment

Researchers at the University of South Australia have developed a cost-effective technique that could deliver safe drinking water to millions of vulnerable people using cheap, sustainable materials and sunlight. A team led by Associate Professor Haolan Xu has refined a technique to derive freshwater from seawater, brackish water, or contaminated water, through highly efficient solar evaporation, delivering enough daily fresh drinking water for a family of four from just one square metre of source water. “In recent years, there has been a lot of attention on using solar evaporation to create fresh drinking water, but previous techniques have been too inefficient to be practically useful,” Xu said. “We have overcome those inefficiencies, and our technology can now deliver enough fresh water to support many practical needs at a fraction of the cost of existing technologies like reverse osmosis.” Source: Manufacturer\’s Monthly

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