Wind Power Continues Its March Into The Energy Mainstream

Global economic activity is on hold at the moment, but 2019 was a boom year for wind energy, with more than 60GW of capacity installed around the world. New figures from the Global Wind Energy Council’s (GWEC) Global Wind Energy Report show that installations were 19% higher than the year before and the second-highest ever. Total capacity is now 651GW. However, the market needs to grow even more if we are to meet our climate targets, the organization says. China and the US dominate the global market for onshore wind…

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Lockdown is an opportunity to address air pollution’

The lockdown enforced by the Sindh government in the province amid coronavirus fears is an opportunity for the relevant authorities to evaluate the urban sprawl, mass transportation and industrial needs of Karachi and curb harmful carbon emissions here, stated the National Forum for Environment and Health (NFEH). NFEH president Naeem Qureshi, in a statement released on Saturday, said that the lockdown in the city – one of the biggest industrial hubs of the world – has lowered the level of air pollution. “With public transportation completely halted, minimal use of…

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WHO Reviews ‘Current’ Evidence On Coronavirus Transmission Through Air

The World Health Organization says the virus that causes COVID-19 doesn’t seem to linger in the air or be capable of spreading through the air over distances of more than about 3 feet. But at least one expert in virus transmission said it’s way too soon to know that. “I think the WHO is being irresponsible in giving out that information. This misinformation is dangerous,” says Dr. Donald Milton, an infectious disease aerobiologist at the University of Maryland’s School of Public Health. The WHO says that “according to current evidence,” the virus is…

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Coal Is Now the World’s Most Expensive Fossil Fuel

Coal, the dirtiest and usually the cheapest option for energy, is now the world’s most expensive fossil fuel. Oil’s epic collapse over the past month means the global crude benchmark is now priced below the most widely traded coal contract on an energy-equivalent basis, according to Bloomberg calculations. Australia’s Newcastle coal on ICE Futures Europe settled at $66.85 a metric ton on Friday, the equivalent of $27.36 a barrel of oil. Brent futures ended at $26.98 a barrel. While coal use in the U.S. and Europe has fallen because of cheap natural gas and renewables, as…

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Government may exercise force majeure against IPPs, opine experts

The federal government can exercise the clause of force majeure against Independent Power Producers (IPPs) to pull the power sector out of pressure due to outbreak of COVID-19 in the country, said power sector experts. They said the need for any such measure in an emergency situation like the present one when the power division has stopped the distribution companies from disconnections and extended payment dates to facilitate the consumers, including domestic, commercial and industrial. There are around 42 IPPs that contribute significantly to electricity generation in Pakistan. It is…

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EV policy draft circulated among stakeholders

ISLAMABAD: The Engineering Development Board (EDB) Thursday circulated the draft Electric Vehicle (EV) policy 2020-25 amongst stakeholders after facing harsh criticism in the Cabinet on March 25, 2020, well-informed sources told Business Recorder. According to the draft policy, since hybrid technology does not require additional infrastructure development, which is one of the major prerequisites for EVs, hence the thrust of this policy is to provide an incentive structure. This is suitable and feasible for establishment of local manufacturing capabilities in EV within the country. The EDB says that since the…

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How to handle our circular debt

The government has lately been trying to tackle the growing circular debt in the power sector. The policy thrust has largely been administrative. It has involved power cuts in the low-recovery areas and raises in the electricity prices to recover the costs. This hasn’t produced any tangible results. On one hand, the government plans to float a Rs200bn Sukuk to settle part of the debt and, on the other, it has announced a freeze on electricity prices till June. This is not a wholesome policy as both the Sukuk and…

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LNG deal with Qatar: Govt under pressure to declare force majeure

Federal Government is under pressure to declare force majeure in its liquefied natural gas (LNG) deal with Qatar following a sharp decline in gas demand in the wake of lockdown due to coronavirus spread, sources said. Petroleum Division is working with Pakistan State Oil (PSO) and two public sector gas utilities – Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) and Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Ltd (SNGPL) on a proposal for the federal government to declare force majeure in its long-term deal with Doha in order to halt LNG import that is expensive…

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Power Division proposes govt to freeze power tariff

ISLAMABAD: In a bid to ward off negative impact of coronavirus on consumers, the Power Division has proposed to the government to freeze electricity tariff for next six months with effect from April to September 30, 2020, The News has learnt. Top official sources confirmed to The News on Friday that the Power Division estimated that there would be built up of Rs150 billion on account of decision of freezing Fuel Price Adjustment (FPA) of Rs73 billion and Rs77 billion because of non-materialisation of Quarterly Tariff Adjustment (QTA). With decision…

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The ozone layer is healing, new study finds

The ozone layer is continuing to heal and has the potential to fully recover, according to a new study. A scientific paper, published in Nature, heralds a rare success in the reversal of environmental damage and shows that orchestrated global action can make a difference. The ozone layer is a protective shield in the Earth’s stratosphere which absorbs most of the ultraviolet radiation reaching us from the sun. Without the ozone layer it would be nearly impossible for anything to survive on the planet. In the past, human use of substances – chlorofluorocarbons…

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