- A goal to halve planet-warming carbon emissions by 2050, similar to an aim Japan is urging G8 leaders to agree next month, would add $45 trillion to global energy bills, the International Energy Agency said on Tuesday. "It's a lot of money," IEA analyst Peter Taylor told a meeting on the fringes of a climate conference in Germany, previewing the agency's Energy Technology Perspectives report to be published in Japan on Friday. "It implies a completely different energy system," he said.

Bosch, the German privately owned conglomerate, on Monday made a

CR Bhattacharjee

In the search for renewable energy, turning low-value materials like switchgrass and corn husks into ethanol to fuel cars is something of a Holy Grail. In theory, these materials would replace corn as the main feedstock for ethanol in North America, reducing the pressure on farmland that has played a role in rising food prices and put drivers into competition with hungry people. But scientists on the front lines of this search are finding that making the process commercially and environmentally viable is proving much harder than some of the hype would suggest.

Waste plastic products should not be treated as threats to our environment. A proper system to recycle these products and efforts at extracting fuel from them may turn these waste products into invaluable assets, said Amarjyoti Kashyap president of the non-Government organisation (NGO) Environ. This is very significant in these days of growing threats of scarcity and rising price of fossil fuel. Besides, there is also the angle of environment pollution, which can be tackled better with the use of plastic fuel and application of a safe technology to extract fuel from plastic.

Eight of Shell's wind projects are in the US. Royal Dutch Shell believes the future of wind power is in North America, where it is redoubling its efforts after pulling out of the large-scale London Array wind farm project in the UK. "The European theatre has been built out,'' Dick Williams, president of Shell Wind Energy, told the Financial Times.

The neglect of India's energy resources and the failure to adopt a scientific approach to maximise their use are unforgivable, and the simultaneous pursuit of exotic treaties is unfortunate.

For seven long years, President George W. Bush has refused to confront the challenge of climate change and provide the leadership that America and the world needs to reduce greenhouse gases and avoid the destructive consequences of global warming.

Italy should keep its ban on nuclear power and should boost solar and wind energy instead to resolve its energy supply problems, Italian environmentalists said on Thursday as nuclear revival debate heated up. Italy banned nuclear power in a 1987 referendum after the Chernobyl disaster. But calls for a nuclear renaissance have intensified this month under the new government of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi as oil prices stormed record highs.

With about 20 biomass-based power projects generating 183 MW at Sirsa, Panipat, Karnal, Hisar, Fatehabad, Bhiwani, Nilokheri, Jagadhari, Khanesar and Dabwali, the people of Haryana can be assured of lesser power cuts. As the projects are being set up at the sites of the load centres, the power supply is expected to increase in these blocks, with transmission losses going down in a big way. Confirming this, officials of Haryana Renewable Energy Development Agency (HAREDA) said since the state is purchasing massive power from other states, it has to bear huge transmission losses.

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