With old-fashioned power plants and inefficient energy generation, India languishes at the 11th spot in energy efficiency among world's 16 largest economies. (image by Vikramdeep Sidhu)

India trails in energy efficiency

Antiquated power plants and inefficient electricity generation are the hurdles that India faces as it seeks to power its growing economy and also improve people’s access to electricity

India languishes at the 11th spot in energy efficiency among the world’s 16 largest economies, says a global energy efficiency scorecard released by the US-based non-profit American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE)…Read more

Tea crops can’t be insured and farmers receive no compensation for losses due to climate change. (Photo by Akarsh Simha)

Erratic rain, rising temperatures hit Assam tea gardens

Tea growers in India’s Assam state are worried as production falls due to high temperatures and lack of rain and are looking at ways such as irrigation and planting more shady trees to mitigate the problem

Acres of rolling greens, endless rows of orderly tree shrubs broken by tall, leafy trees, women with bamboo baskets slung on their backs busy plucking tea leaves…To the unsuspecting eye, it is all normal at the Koomsong Tea Estate…Read more

Data shows that many areas in India have experienced heat waves extending to eight or more days on an average per season. (Image by Bert Kaufmann)

India heating – and killing

Weathermen are noticing that 25 of their observation stations from north, northwest and central India registered major increases in heat waves in the first decade of this century, and five stations – mainly from northwest India – showed an increase in severe heat waves

Long-term data from 103 weather stations analysed by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) in Pune have confirmed that heat waves…Read more

(From left to right) Dr Francisco Gaetani, Deputy Minister of Environment of Brazil; Edna Molewa, Minister of Environmental Affairs of South Africa; Prakash Javadekar, Minister of Environment, Forests and Climate Change of India and Xie Zhenhua, Vice Chairman of NDRC of China attend the 18th BASIC Minesterial meeting on climate change in New Delhi. (Image by Press Information Bureau, Government of India)

Walk the talk on climate, BASIC group tells developed countries

The four BASIC countries stick to their developing nation stand at a meeting to prepare for the next round of climate negotiations

Brazil, South Africa, India and China (BASIC) presented a united front and reiterated their stand on climate negotiations at the 18th ministerial level meeting held in New Delhi this week. Developed countries had been hoping that the four governments would at least drop a hint…Read more

An Indian village home lit up through a micro-grid (Image by Karan Vaid)

Lighting up more lives, the micro way

Around 300 million Indians lack access to electricity, the largest chunk among the world’s 1.2 billion people in this situation. The International Energy Agency estimates that 55% of these people will have to get their access through micro-grids, individual lighting systems and other alternatives to central grid connections. So how effective are micro-grids?

A 2011 review of the rural electrification situation across 10 states in India revealed that…Read more

India could save enough electricity to power 358 million homes annually by 2030 if states adopt green building codes. (Image by seaview99)

For smart cities, buildings need energy makeover

An increase in the demand for energy has driven policymakers to stress on the Energy Conservation Building Code for commercial buildings in India. The importance of this is going to go up as the government rolls out its plan for smart cities. What does this mean for the construction industry?

India’s demand for energy is soaring and is likely to double between 2014 and 2027. To manage this demand, urgent measures to heighten…Read more

An example of a favourable phase of EQUINOO, with clouds over the western equatorial Indian Ocean, but none over the eastern equatorial Indian Ocean, on May 24, 2014. (Image by Sulochana Gadgil / Naval Research Laboratory)

Newly found wind oscillation may keep drought at bay

A recently discovered meteorological phenomenon in the Indian Ocean, called EQUINOO, can fill in the gaps in the monsoon-El Niño link and explain why an El Niño year is not necessarily a drought year

The great Indian monsoon hit mainland India in early June and, as feared, hasn’t quite delivered. Meteorologists, farmers and economists, who have been waiting with trepidation for what is expected to be a below par rainfall year….Read more

Farmers preparing their fields for multi cropping in Madhya P:radesh (Image by Development Alternatives)

Farmers in Madhya Pradesh scale up efforts to fight climate change

Farmers in 23 villages in Datia district of Madhya Pradesh are quite aware of the risks that the changing climate is likely to bring; and in response have started adopting simple yet effective local solutions that stood them in good stead last winter

The first two months of 2014 witnessed unseasonal rains and devastating hailstorms in semi-arid regions of central India. Such weather extremes and unexpected events have increasingly…Read more

With water tanks at hand even if monsoon is not, Bangari Sisa, high on motivation, tends to the Lady's Finger saplings even as the sun has set in Gulel village. (Image by Manipadma Jena)

Erratic monsoon? No problem, say these subsistence farmers

While India is trying to deal with an erratic monsoon that is still sub-normal, some farmers in Odisha show how to adapt to it

Bangari Sisa, 40, cannot remember seeing so few monsoon clouds in early July over her village Gulel, which nestles amidst the high hills of Koraput district in India’s eastern state Odisha. “As a child I’ve touched clouds,” she says laughing, “they’d glide low and shower every so often this time of…Read more

A potential shift in China’s position toward emission caps will be tectonic. Picture shows the chimneys from a coal-burning power station in China. (Image by Mingjia Zhou)

A map and compass for climate talks

India needs both a principled approach and a strategic vision to take its negotiating position forward

An interesting recent public duel over India’s past approach to climate negotiations and tactics illustrates both the dissonance of Indian climate policy and the opportunities lost for a creative strategy. Former Environment and Forests Minister Jairam Ramesh wrote in The Hindu…Read more

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