Countries that run on 100% Renewable energy

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Costa Rice

In 2015, Costa Rica for the first time ran on renewable energy for more than 300 days. In 2016, the country until September, had completed 150 days of complete renewable energy consumption.

Most of the electricity in Costa Rica is produced through hydropower and geothermal technology. The country is yet to get rid of about 2 million cars that run on gas.

Costa Rica has taken up the aim to modernize their energy production and consumption process to sustain the current environment and to improve renewable energy performance.

Electricity in Costa Rica is generated through turbines in dams. This process accounts for 78% electricity supply.

Costa Rica’s renewable energy plans got tremendous push when in 2014, the government approved $1 billion for geothermal project. Geothermal project uses heat from the earth to generate power for electric generators.

Iceland

Iceland is another country that has shown ambition for 100% renewable energy consumption. Ice too has a geothermal and hydropower technology. Through the similar process, Iceland generates almost 100% of its electricity which is renewable.

There’s another interesting side to Iceland. The country not only uses geothermal heat for powering generators, but also uses pipes to transfer the geothermal heat using water. This they send to about 87% of their homes.

Since the 1940’s the country has been betting big on geothermal resources for generating electricity. This they have done efficiently by establishing a research and implementation agency that oversees the development in the field.

This has roughly saved about 8 billion dollars of Iceland for not using oil. It has also reduced the country’s carbon emissions by more than 33% in 30 years.

Albania and Paraguay

Albania and Paraguay have too converted themselves as renewable energy producers.

Albania, home to eight rivers has successfully fulfilled the country’s requirements in energy. But rising demands have pushed the country to import means of increasing energy production.

Paraguay on the other hand produces nearly 100 percent of its energy through hydropower.

What made them successful?

Most importantly, all of these countries have low population. A low population demands lower energy consumption. Apart from that the country is rich in research and development and has been a first world country or a developed country for a long time. The population is educated and all of this has made it possible for a better energy generation and consumption pattern.

Apart from that, these countries are located in resource rich areas. They have easy access to water and earth heat. Thus their access to natural resources has played a major role in their success.

Australia Protests against Adani Coal Mining Project

The protestors of Melbourne and Townsville of Australia have called on the Australian government to invest in solar energy, rather than coal.

The debate has come to light after the Queensland Parliament passed the Environmental Protection (Underground Water Management) and other Legislation Amendment Bill, 2016. After the ratification of this amendment, a company, in this case Adani Mining Pty Ltd, will not go through public objection process once it has been scrutinized by the Environmental Impact Statement and the Land Court.

This, in Adani’s case means that since the Carmichael coal mine project has already gone through Land Court cases, their water license will not be appealable at the Land Court after this bill. The company can still be dragged for a judicial review, but not a subject of challenge in a Land Court that deals with environmental issues in the state of Queensland of Australia.

The mining project has become a controversy because the Carmichael mine is situated near the Great Artesian Basin. The basin is a major resource for agriculture. The mining project seeks to use 12.5 gigalitres of water each year from the Belyando river, one of the longest in Queensland.

The company on the other hand has advertised jobs and investment as means to legitimize the project even though the people have objected for it and propose to generate power through solar energy.

Adani’s company received state govt’s support since it granted the Carmichael project as “critical infrastructure” and “prescribed project” so as to fast track the process of its start. Giving “critical infrastructure” and “prescribed project” assertion removes strict legal actions against the company as it empower the firm with ministerial consent. It also undermines judicial scrutiny and lawfulness of the project.

Even after the economic support, Adani has failed to showcase the financial viability of this project. Neither the government is willing to put money, nor the banks. But the company points out that if the project was financially nonviable, they wouldn’t have put in about $3 billion already and about 100 million only on legal affairs.

Reducing The Level of Smog in New Delhi & Protecting Environment: A Different Perspective

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The same sense of déjà vu is prevailing within all of us now. Only when something serious happened we really become cautious otherwise we consider everything as hunky-dory even when it is not. India is quite popular for taking knee-jerk reactions to every serious issue. In the wake of a serious smog menace in Delhi the entire nation seems to be extremely tensed at this point in time. A pertinent question before all of us is “Have we really done an irreparable damage to the environment”?

Well, to a certain extent most of us will answer in the affirmative. The rising level of pollution and environmental degradation in Indian cities and metros can’t be doubted. Even a few days back, we were totally unaware of the environmental problems that loomed before us – it was only when the lethal smog started creating respiratory problems – we have now somewhat become watchful.

Environmental problems don’t start in a day barring the exceptions like Bhopal Gas Tragedy. It was the years of reckless torture of environment that we have reached such a precarious level of air pollution now. According to WHO (World health Organisation), data, air pollution has risen by 8% globally in the last half decades. Literally, not just India, lots of countries have failed to prevent pollution problems in their own backyards. But that doesn’t give us an unlimited license to harm the environment and disturb ecological balance.

As a nation of 1.2 billion plus people, we must have done something exemplary to keep the level of ecological equilibrium intact. Three of India’s megacities; Mumbai, New Delhi and Kolkata have found their mention in the list of World’s most polluted cities with maximum PM 10 (Particulates Matter). New Delhi continues to be counted as the world’s most polluted city. We must do something to improve the environment in Delhi and elsewhere in the country too.

Poisonous Smog In Delhi: What Needs to Be done?

The rising menace of air pollution in Delhi makes it extremely suffocating for us to breathe fresh air. The situation has gone from worse to worst now. Many feel that incessant unplanned developmental activities which took place in Delhi and NCR (National Capital Region) in the last few years have definitely harmed the national capital’s atmosphere.

Nevertheless, a massive chunk of crop-residue burning by peasants in parts of Haryana, Punjab and NCR is also another reason why Delhi has engulfed itself in such a thick layer of smog. There are some other reasons too for the growing pollution in the city; relentless real estate construction and harmful emission of gaseous substances from the vehicles can’t be ignored.

Currently, the level of smog in Delhi is the worst in the last one and half decade. There must be a multipronged strategy to tackle the same. It’s high time everyone should start planting trees across the city wherever possible. Also, some sort of restrictions needs to be put on the number of vehicles running on the streets. Both the central and state government must take some concrete actions to mitigate the smog problems in the nation’s capital at the earliest without making any political cacophony.

The First Step towards Environment Protection

Self-awareness is the key to protecting your environment and atmosphere. It must start on a massive scale. By joining hands with the people around us we can certainly achieve the life-saving dream of a fresh air – the birthright that every citizen of the country is entitled to.

India, standing on the verge of becoming a superpower, should have educated its people more on environmental issues. Merely signing climate change acts and other international deeds won’t solve the problem all alone.

Bursting Crackers Increases the Level of Pollution on Diwali: Says Report

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Diwali, the Indian festival of lights, is known for its rich tradition of bursting colourful crackers on that day. But over the past few years, people have become somewhat cautious about bursting crackers. The reasons can by many, but primarily, health risk is on top. We need to bring it down further.

Last year, Pune University has categorically pointed out the direct link between crackers and pollution. A report published in the Indian express, one of India’s leading dailies, cited an observation jointly conducted by the researchers at the Pune University (PU) and Chest Research Foundation (CRF). It disclosed that a simple fire cracker like a snake tablet emits as high as PM2.5 (Particulate matter), which isn’t good for humans and environment. Now imagine how much the other big crackers emit?

A snake table release around 65, 000 mcg /m3. It’s extremely harmful for the people standing near it and also it directly affects our environment. Crackers can harm our vital organs like eyes, nose, heart and lung.

Why You Should Stop Bursting Crackers: Reasons at A Glance

  • Prevent Fire Hazards: Fire accidents and tragedies are quite frequent in India. Kollam tragedy in Kerala, which took dozens of lives, a few months back, happened because of firecrackers. We can’t overlook it.
  • Be kind to Animals/ Pets: You can’t enjoy at the cost of harming other beings. Common!! Bursting crackers is no enjoyment at all. It shows your selfishness and lackadaisical attitude towards others. By bursting firecrackers you are endangering the lives of mute pet animals living within us.
  • Garbage All Over: There is no doubt, the wastage by firecrackers increases the waste – be it the sheet or the unused crackers – they lie scattered here and there. Is the clean India that we dreamt of?
  • Stop Promoting Child Labour: Spare a thought for those helpless kids who endanger their lives to let you burst crackers on Diwali. They work at hazardous factories and often risk their lives. Stop it!! Their apt place is school not hazardous factories. By purchasing firecrackers you are also somewhere promoting the child labor. Raise your voice against it.
  • Avoiding Harmful Gases: Every firecracker has some toxic chemicals and elements in it like; Cadmium, Aluminum, Sulfur and Barium among others. They do no good to us but invade our bodies by way of breathing. Then they attack our immune system and increase the risk of other serious diseases too.

Why Boycott Chinese Fire-Crackers?

There are many reasons to avoid purchasing Chinese Firecrackers. It doesn’t relate to any political ideology but some simple common senses.

  • The presence of high level of Potassium Chlorate in Chinese fire-crackers. Indian government has banned the chemical in 1992.
  • Possession and sale of foreign firecrackers (including Chinese) is punishable under the Indian law.
  • The noise limit for firecrackers as per the Indian rule is 145. But Chinese crackers frequently exceed that level. Also, the manufacturers hardly disclose chemical composition inside these crackers.
  • Often the chemical compounds which help making firecrackers are smuggled into India from abroad flouting all rules and regulations – causing huge damage to Indian treasury and Tax department.

Bursting crackers is in itself a bad omen. You spend a huge chunk of money just to fire crackers. Especially, in an over polluted and populated nation like India bursting firecrackers during diwali and marriage season is like endangering the entire nation, people and ecology as a whole.

Don’t Follow The Crowd…. Follow what is Right. Let’s pledge to stop lighting firecrackers on Diwali and other ceremonies, starting this Year!!