News Bulletin: May 2022 – Issue 2

1. Cruise tourism has potential to grow 10 folds, says Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal

Union Minister for Ports, Shipping & Waterways Sarbananda Sonowal has asserted that Indian cruise market has the potential to grow 10 folds over the next decade, driven by rising demand and disposable incomes. “The government of India realizes this potential and is determined to position India as a global cruise hub with state-of-art infrastructure for both ocean and river cruises,” he said after inaugurating the 1st Incredible India International Cruise Conference 2022 in Mumbai today.

Source: Free Press Journal

2. IIT Gandhinagar develops framework to reduce damage to power transmission systems during cyclones

Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Gandhinagar, have developed a comprehensive framework that can reduce the damage to power transmission systems in coastal areas under cyclone scenarios.

The team used damage-cum-wind speed data of Cyclone Fani in Odisha to develop a fragility model for towers, which helps assess the functionality of the network and the influence of strategic interventions on the same.

Source: New Indian Express

3. An Insight Into SEZs

Special Economic Zones (SEZs) were established in many countries as testing grounds for the implementation of liberal market economy principles. While viewed as economic policy tools for enhancing the acceptability and credibility of industrial transformation policies, attracting domestic and foreign investment and also for the opening up of the economy, SEZs also seek to promote the value addition component in exports, generate employment, encourage import substitution as well as mobilise foreign exchange in the countries for Balance of Payments support.

Many developing and developed economies have established economic zones for regional development and prosperity, aimed at creating spillovers for the economy outside the zones quite successfully. SEZs—an industrial policy tool that depends on the attraction of local and foreign direct investment (FDI)— continue to multiply and diversify all over the world, data indicates.

Source: Nation

4. Lodha, Bain Capital, Ivanho Cambridge to invest $1 billion for developing warehousing parks

Real estate developer Lodha on May 11 announced a partnership with Bain Capital and Ivanhoé Cambridge to set up a next-generation green digital infrastructure platform that will invest $1 billion for developing digital infrastructure that includes logistics and light industrial parks as well as in-city fulfillment centers across the country.

The platform will jointly invest around $1 billion to create around 30 million sq. ft. of operating assets to serve India’s digital economy. Each of the three partners will have around 33% equity interest in the property ownership, whilst Lodha will lead the development, operations, and management of the assets, the company said.

Source: Money Control

5. Collaboration accelerates development of offshore renewable innovations

Two of the UK’s leading organisations spearheading the offshore renewable energy revolution are partnering to increase industry access to facilities and expertise that will fast-forward the development and deployment of new offshore renewables products and services.

The University of Plymouth and the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult have agreed to establish a new Collaborative Offshore Renewable Energy Subsea Systems (COSS) research accelerator.

Source: Mirage News

6. After 8 years and Rs 4,633 crore, the Ganga waterway project’s environment impact is still unknown

The National Green Tribunal and the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change have, for the past six years, been deliberating on whether the government’s World Bank-funded project – the Jal Marg Vikas Project for National Waterway 1 – requires environmental clearance. The project on the Ganga-Bhagirathi-Hooghly river systems, announced in July 2014, is scheduled to be completed by December 2023. Meanwhile, the National Green Tribunal has postponed the matter of its environmental clearance 14 times, documents analysed by IndiaSpend show.

Then Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, while presenting the Budget for the financial year 2014-’15, announced the project and said it was intended to increase the capacity of vessels plying along the Ganga to at least 1,500 tonnes.

Source: Scroll

7. Tata Steel uses inland waterways to ship heavy machinery for Kalinganar project

Tata Steel on Tuesday said it has used inland waterways in Odisha to bring in heavy machinery for its ongoing Kalinganagar plant expansion project. Development of inland waterways for the industry is a focus area of the government as transportation of goods is cheaper through this route compared to rail and road.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, on the National Maritime Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said India’s maritime sector has scaled new heights in the last eight years and contributed to boosting trade and commercial activities.

Source: Financial Express

8. Connected logistics in shipping: Need of the hour

The pandemic led to massive disruptions in the past two years across the logistics sector. The crisis between Russia-Ukraine and Sri Lanka’s economic situation has added to India’s global supply chain system and other countries. These incidences reveal the disintegrated nature of the shipping industry worldwide. Rising complexities are significant grounds to address global supply chain issues.

Multiple factors lack the country behind in terms of the usage of intelligent machinery in the supply chain network. Due to inadequate awareness, the fragmented nature of local markets, insufficient government intervention and the absence of local organizations to strengthen regional standardization have created multiple hurdles in ensuring a seamless connected logistics network.

Source: Times of India

9. Railways spent Rs 150 cr to repair wagons, help coal movement: Data

The railways spent more than Rs 150 crore in repairing around 2,000 damaged and dilapidated wagons over the last four months to augment coal movement to power plants, according to official data.

It also said that around 9,982 such wagons were listed as damaged in January, the numbers of which reduced to 7,803 by May 2, with the railways managing to repair 2,179 wagons in time for the coal demand to peak in the country.

Source: Business Standard

10. Energy crisis: Why are renewable prices rising too?

“The turmoil in the UK energy market over recent months has been caused by a host of factors – a ‘perfect storm’ affecting the UK and markets across the world. These included the rapid increase in demand for energy – in particular gas – as the UK and other economies started re-opening after the worst of the Covid pandemic, prompting electricity and gas prices to rise.

“The situation was made more difficult over the winter as the UK saw a marked drop in the amount of wind and solar power generated, just when households needed to heat their homes. Whilst not wishing to overlook the appalling human tragedy of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the energy situation has been worsened by the war with a further squeeze on gas supplies, resulting in more price shocks in the global energy market.”

Source: Green World

11. The Indian renewable energy sector is becoming increasingly driven by private sector

Climate change has posed a major life-threatening risk globally. According to the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, the global temperature may rise by 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2040. To maintain the same trajectory of global temperature at 1.5 degrees Celsius, aggressive mitigation measures need to be undertaken by each country immediately to curb global warming. To mitigate the climate risk, India has ambitioned to achieve emission-free energy targets by 2070. At COP-26 in Glasgow, India has committed to achieving 500 GW of renewable energy in a phased manner by 2030, meeting 50% of the total energy needs by then. Now, seeing India’s rising energy consumption every year, though the country cannot rule out the utilization of conventional energy resources straight away, it has to simultaneously but aggressively transition to renewable sources of power.

Source: Times of India

12. Are Aggressive Energy Storage Policies a Sound Strategy?

A battery storage market trends update issued by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) in August 2021 reported that the cost of installing and operating large-scale battery storage systems in the United States declined by 72% between 2015 and 2019. This trend as well as studies from NREL and others indicating strong prospects for continued cost declines have lead regulators in at least nine states to advance battery storage programs via utility requirements and customer incentives. Utilities in these states and elsewhere are setting their own aggressive energy storage goals in long-range integrated resource plans (IRPs). Is battery energy storage the best solution for goals such as reliability, flexibility, and emissions reductions or one tool of many in our technology march?

Source: TD World

13. Pawan Hans privatization offers a big turnaround opportunity

On 29 April, the finance ministry announced that the alternative mechanism, empowered by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, which includes the roads and highways and the civil aviation ministers, has approved the (highest) bid of Star9 Mobility Private Ltd in the sale of government’s entire share ownership of 51% in Pawan Hans Limited (PHL). Government-owned ONGC holds the balance 49% in Pawan Hans which provides helicopter and aero mobility services. It had earlier decided to offer its entire shareholding to the successful bidder identified in the government strategic disinvestment transaction on the same price and terms as the government.

Source: Live Mint

14. Govt seeks to replicate NHAI success with InvITs at railways and ports

After the success of infrastructure investment trusts (InvITs) achieved by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and PowerGrid, the Centre is laying the groundwork for similar InvITs for railways, shipping, gas pipelines, and other sectors, as part of the Rs 6-trillion National Monetisation Pipeline (NMP).

The finance ministry has been nudging various infrastructure line departments and there have been close examinations of InvITs in the Ministries of Railways and Shipping, and GAIL (India) , among others, Business Standard has learnt.

Source: Business Standard

15. Farmers Can Play a Big Role in Addressing Climate Change. Climate-Smart Agriculture is The Only Way Forward

Punjab and Haryana’s farmers’ obsession with unsustainable big cereals wheat and paddy has begun to hurt, as returns diminish. The climate crisis farmers faced this time was the hottest months of March and April in the past 122 years. The northern and central parts of the country reel under heat waves, that is, temperatures around 45 degrees Celsius and even more. A climate crisis as high rise temperatures has reduced the yield of the harvested crop up to 25 per cent. Temperature rise has shrivelled up wheat grain and other Rabi crops resulting in low yield and raising worries among farmers about just-sown pulse crops.

According to a report tabled in parliament by the parliamentary standing committee on agriculture in August 2017, “the climate change is expected to reduce rice production by 6 to 8 per cent by 2022.” One degree Celsius rise in minimum or maximum temperatures during cropping season could decrease the yield by 8 to 10 per cent.

Source: News 18

16. Indian smart city takes steps to reduce water loss

Satna, a major city in the state of Madya Pradesh, India, is utilising a water management system to help detect and prevent non-revenue water losses in its transmission network.

Utility Yokogawa India has deployed Itron’s Water Operations Management solution across its existing infrastructure which comprises water treatment plants, tanks, underground reservoirs, water pump houses and 200 kilometres of bulk water supply networks.

Source: Smart Cities World

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