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Topical Analysis – Future Resources

  • Published
    12th Sep, 2019

Natural resources are essential for our survival. Agricultural land provides us with food; a sufficient supply of clean and potable water sustains life; and raw material of various kinds is needed for shelter.
Natural resources are required not only for meeting our basic needs, but also for fulfilling our aspirations for a better quality of life, for higher standards of living, for comfort and ease, and for economic and social well-being.
Every society depends on natural resources like biogenic and mineral raw materials, on energy sources like fossil fuels and solar and wind energy, and on clean water.
The environmental media and ecosystems are also understood as being natural resources, with their biodiversity, the different functions of their land areas, and their services. They constitute the essential elements that keep our economy functioning and guarantee an increase in the well-being of mankind.

Introduction

  • Natural resources are essential for our survival. Agricultural land provides us with food; a sufficient supply of clean and potable water sustains life; and raw material of various kinds is needed for shelter.
  • Natural resources are required not only for meeting our basic needs, but also for fulfilling our aspirations for a better quality of life, for higher standards of living, for comfort and ease, and for economic and social well-being.
  • Every society depends on natural resources like biogenic and mineral raw materials, on energy sources like fossil fuels and solar and wind energy, and on clean water.
  • The environmental media and ecosystems are also understood as being natural resources, with their biodiversity, the different functions of their land areas, and their services. They constitute the essential elements that keep our economy functioning and guarantee an increase in the well-being of mankind.
  • Consequently, we need to devote more attention to resource use, since global demand for various goods and services is increasing, but the resources available to us are finite and limited. Industrialized countries already have high levels of resource consumption, while emerging countries need resources to provide appropriate living standards for their populations.
  • Coordinated and collaborative efforts are required to ensure both availability and conservation of natural resources. Industrialized countries need to demonstrate how they intend to maintain their living standards in the face of considerably reduced resources, and emerging countries need to determine how their economies can continue growing through the most efficient use of scarce natural resources.
  • The perception of managing natural resources efficiently and sustainably is a key consideration in taking future decisions. With a supposed yearly growth rate of 8% of GDP, India’s middle class is poised to grow tremendously in the near future. But among the 1.2 billion Indians are millions of poor people who are also striving for a better life.
  • These developments will have consequences for consumption patterns in daily life. Food and nutrition, housing, mobility, communication, and leisure time are only a few areas that will change in terms of both quantity and quality.
  • Physical and economic constraints might become increasingly important in the future. While the European Union in general and Germany in particular, have adopted appropriate resource policies to maintain their wealth, it is also important for India to participate in the discussion on resource use and to identify its own areas for action. For the European Union, as well as for India, what is on the agenda is not only the availability of natural resources, but also the environmental conditions under which they are used.
  • The focus of interest in the debate over natural resources is mostly on raw materials. All countries fear the decreasing availability of materials like fossil fuels, rich metal ore deposits, and high-quality minerals.
  • And all countries will be affected, whether they depend on domestic extraction or on imports. This is the reason why this study starts with an in-depth examination of raw materials.

Resources: What are we talking about?

  • The word “resource” seems to have a clear and straightforward meaning. But a reading of different reports and policy papers makes it obvious that various issues are involved in defining the term. The use of different resources, the inconsistent use of the phrase “raw material”, and an unclear scope of the expression “natural resources” lead to confusion, and thus indicate the need for clear and unambiguous definitions.
  • The word “resource” originates from the Latin word “resurgere”, which means to pour out of something or to protrude
  • Resource is normally used in an economic context and encompasses many different aspects like human resources, financial resources, natural resources, and time resources.
  • A resource can be a material or an immaterial good from which benefit is produced. It is commonly understood as a means of production, a means of finance, soil, raw material, energy, people, and time. In the social sciences, a resource can refer to ability, a character trait, or a mindset (psychology); or to education, health, and prestige.

     

  • For about two decades now, the term “sustainable development” has characterised the discussions about taking better care of our natural environment, a fairer distribution of prosperity throughout the world, and more humane living conditions for all people. Sustainability encompasses not only ecological but also economical and social aspects, which must always be considered collectively and in their interactions.
  • A comprehensive definition for sustainability was worked out for the first time by the Brundtland Commission, adopted by the Rio Conference 1992, and has since been refined, and interpreted [Brundtland 1987; Rio-Agenda 21, 1992]. The Brundtland report defines sustainable development as a development that “meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”.
  • Energy plays a crucial role in sustainable development. The way it is available influences practically all fields of social, economical, and political activities; the state of the environment and the climate are influenced by it, and often it determines whether nations will live in peace or conflict with each other. Accordingly, “the use of energy is only sustainable when the sufficient and permanent availability of suitable energy resources is assured, while at the same time, the detrimental effects of supplying, transporting, and using energy is limited.

Fossil fuels — the motor of today’s global economy

  • Since the beginning of industrialisation, energy consumption has increased considerably more rapidly than the number of people on the planet.
  • Whereas the world population has quadrupled since 1870, to 6 billion at present, the world-wide energy consumption, and therefore the consumption of fossil resources in the form of coal, oil, and natural gas, has increased by a factor of sixty to the present level of 423.
  • The average person today consumes fifteen times more energy than a person 130 years ago, significantly more for those living in the industrialised countries.
  • Temporary drops in the past, caused e.g. by the two world wars, the oil-price crises, or the serious decline of industrial production in the states of the former Soviet Union, interrupted this upwards trend in growth only for short periods of time.
  • The current rapid increase in energy consumption started about 1950; the energy consumption world-wide doubled between 1970 and 2000. Moreover, no fundamental change of this growth trend is expected in the foreseeable future.

Guidelines for a sustainable energy supply

  • Equality of access: Equal opportunities in accessing energy resources and energy services shall be assured for all.
  • Protection of resources: The different energy resources shall be maintained for the generations to follow, or there shall be comparable options created to provide sufficient energy services for future generations.
  • Compatibility with environment, climate and health: The adaptability and the ability for regeneration of natural systems (the “environment”) may not be exceeded by energy-related emissions and waste. Risks for human health – by e.g. an accumulation of problematical pollutants and harmful substances – shall be avoided.
  • Social compatibility: It shall be assured when realising the energy supply systems that all people affected by the system are able to participate in the decision-making processes. The ability of economic players and communities to act and shape may not be restricted by the systems being set up, but rather shall be expanded wherever possible.
  • Low risk and error tolerance: Unavoidable risks and hazards arising from the generation and use of energy shall be minimised and limited in their propagation in space and time. Human errors, improper handling, wilful damage, and incorrect use shall also be taken into consideration in the assessment.
  • Comprehensive economic efficiency: Energy services shall – in relation to other costs in the economy and of consumption – be made available at acceptable costs. The criterion of “acceptability” refers, on the one hand, to specific costs arising in conjunction with the generation and use of the energy and, on the other hand, to the overall economic costs while taking the external ecological and social costs into consideration as well.
  • Availability and security of supply: The energy required to satisfy the human needs must be available according to the demand and in sufficient quantities, in terms of both time and location. The energy supply must be adequately diversified so as to be able to react to crises and to have sufficient margins for the future and room to expand as required. Efficient and flexible supply systems harmonising efficiently with existing population structures shall be created and maintained.
  • International co-operation: Developing the energy systems shall reduce or eliminate potential conflicts between states due to a shortage of resources and also promote the peaceful co-existence of states by a joint use of capabilities and potentials.

Nuclear power — the risks exceed the benefits

  • As electricity generation from nuclear fission is almost completely CO2-free, nuclear power is often considered as being indispensable for achieving our CO2 reduction targets.
  • This view does not however withstand any in-depth analysis: As climate protection requires a large reduction of CO2 over a long time period, the contribution of nuclear energy to the global energy supply would need to be increased by more than one order of magnitude and maintained over several centuries.
  • Besides the increased risk stemming from each new nuclear power plant (many of them operated in countries with lower safety standards and with a lower level of political stability than in Europe), the limited availability of resources prevents nuclear energy from fulfilling these requirements.
  • Even at today’s level of nuclear energy use, the availability of cheap uranium for light-water reactors is expected to last for only another 40 years.
  • The long-term supply of a large amount of electricity requires the use of reprocessing and breeding technologies which are not only more costly, but also involve greater risks than those associated with today’s reactors.

Nuclear energy already conflicts with the basic requirements of a sustainable energy supply:

  • Beyond-design accidents in nuclear reactors, leading to unacceptable human health risks, cannot be ruled out. The regions affected by such an accident would suffer from extreme consequential damages.
  • All processes of the nuclear fuel chain, including fuel preparation, processing, and waste disposal generate radioactive material, some of which is emitted. The large remainder requires a safe and long-term separation from the ecosphere, the technical feasibility of which has not yet been demonstrated in spite of the considerable expenditures in research and development.
  • Complete protection against the misuse of the plutonium by-product from nuclear fission seems to be impossible, in particular if plutonium must be handled within an international breeding economy. Any misuse of weapon-grade plutonium by individual states or supra-national groups is a continuous threat for humanity.
  • Full protection of nuclear facilities against external forces and sabotage is impossible, or would lead to extremely high costs and a limitation of civil liberties.
  • A limitation of the use of nuclear power to only the “highly developed” countries in order to reduce the risks described above would hinder a peaceful world-wide co-operation and is thus not a viable proposition for political reasons.
  • Energy is always needed in the form of certain services like a comfortable room climate, hot water, illumination, powering of machines, or mobility. During the conversion of primary energy to such energy services, energy carriers run through several steps, all of which are associated with efficiency losses. These losses can be reduced considerably by modern conversion technologies and energy management techniques.
  • Besides even greater efficiency in the energy conversion and a more rational use of energy in all equipment, the substitution of high-grade energy by less valuable energy is also part of this strategy (e.g. substituting electricity used for heating rooms with heat from co-generation or with improved thermal insulation). The efficient use of the energy in unavoidable, non-recyclable waste materials is also of great importance.
  • Consistency: Currently, fossil and nuclear energy resources are taken from beneath the surface of the earth, yet their conversion products are disposed of in the environment. The present energy system is “open”. Only “closed” systems are however sustainable in the long run.
  • To a great extent, closed systems provide energy without the consumption of raw materials and always return the material to the energy cycle. Energy systems that use relatively small parts of the natural energy cycles driven by the sun, by gravitation, or by geothermal heat are very close to this ideal.
  • The materials employed within these processes (like e.g. solar collectors) can be recycled to a great extent as these are not contaminated or otherwise modified in an irreversible way: thus they are not “consumed” in the sense of fossil or nuclear energies.
  • The energy needs depend on the lifestyle and consumer habits. Changes in the human activities and needs, e.g. in recreational behaviour, can have a strong impact on the resulting energy consumption.
  • The scope of self dependent responsibility is rather large, ranging from a deliberate renunciation of energy-intensive products or exaggerated mobility to an intelligent assortment of foods and transportation means. From an awareness that old habits calling for “further, faster, and more” will not be sustainable in the long run, a change of values in the industrial countries calling for “living better instead of having more” would have a considerable influence on future energy demands.

WIND POWER

  • Wind power has been used by man from time immemorial. Before the steam engine was invented, trade across the oceans was only possible by means of sailing vessels. Windmills ground grain and drove water pumps for irrigation and drainage purposes.
  • The first endeavours to revive this environmentally friendly technology were undertaken in the fifties. However, it wasn’t until the oil crisis of the seventies, together with an increasing awareness of the environment, which helped to revive wind power in recent times.
  • Modern wind turbines utilise the lift principle rather than the resistance principle. Similar to the wing of an aircraft, the wind flow passing over the rotor blades of the wind turbine generates a lifting force, which makes the rotor turn around.
  • While only a maximum of 15 % of the wind energy can be transformed by applying the resistance principle, a yield of up to 60 % can be achieved by applying the lift principle.
  • Depending on the wind velocity, it is possible to differentiate between four phases of operation. At very low wind speed, the wind energy is not sufficient to overcome the system’s moments of friction and inertia, and the rotors remain stationary.
  • The towers of the largest wind turbines today are more than 120 metres high, so that together with the rotor blades the wind turbines reach a height of up to 170 m. As a rule: the higher the tower, the less interference from air turbulence caused by ground roughness and the mean wind velocities are higher.
  • The towers are generally realised as steel-jacketed constructions which least influence the surrounding countryside due to their slim design.

HYDROPOWER

  • Hydropower was already used in preindustrial times for driving mills, sawmills, and hammers works. Both the kinetic energy and the potential energy from flowing water can be converted into mechanical power by a turbine wheel, which in turn can drive machines or generators.
  • Hydropower is a mature technology which, world-wide, generates the second largest share of energy from renewable sources, after the traditional use of biomass. 17 % of the electricity consumed in the world today is generated by hydroelectric power stations.

PHOTOVOLTAIC SYSTEMS

  • Solar cells directly convert sunlight into electrical power without any mechanical, thermal, or chemical intermediate steps. At the core of all solar cells is a semiconducting material, usually silicon. Solar cells utilise the photovoltaic effect: for certain arrangements of superimposed semiconductor layers, free positive and negative charges are generated under the influence of light (photons).
  • These charges can then be separated by an electrical field and flow as electrons through an electrical conductor. The direct current thus generated can be used for powering electrical devices or stored in batteries. It can also be transformed into alternating current and fed into the national grid.
  • There are solar cells in all conceivable sizes. Miniature cells can be found in pocket calculators and wristwatches. In the kilowatt range, whole households can be supplied with power from solar cells. Put together in solar fields, solar cells have recently entered the megawatt range.

SOLAR THERMAL POWER PLANTS

  • Solar-thermal power plants use the high-temperature heat from concentrating solar collectors to drive conventional types of engines.
  • The plants generate electricity or coupled heat and power, which is when both electric power and process heat are generated at the same time.
  • In this way, a solar-thermal power plant can simultaneously produce electricity, provide cooling by means of an absorption chiller, generate industrial processing steam, and produce drinking water with a seawater desalination plant, thereby converting as much as 85 % of the absorbed solar heat into useful energy.
  • Efficient thermal storage of the generated solar heat and the additional firing of fuel are indispensable in order for the power plant to continuously meet the load. The power plants can be used in two ways: during the day as a solar power plant and during the night as part of the conventional power system.
  • Not only is the overall fuel consumption reduced in this way, the construction of conventional back-up power plants also becomes unnecessary. Thus the benefits to the environment are two-fold and the costs of generating electricity can be halved compared to purely solar operation.

BIOMASS COMBUSTION

  • The use of biomass for generating electricity and heat is a particularly attractive form of energy conversion from the climate point of view. When growing, the biomass first removes the greenhouse gas CO2 from the atmosphere and binds the carbon in the biomass.
  • This carbon is later released into the atmosphere again – e.g. as a result of combustion or when the biomass is rotting. Therefore, when biomass is used for energy purposes, then only that CO2 is released which was previously removed from the atmosphere when the plant was growing.
  • The biomass regulation, which determines which substances are considered as biomass for the renewable energy regulation, defines them as “energy carriers from phyto-mass and zoo-mass”, i.e. materials originating from vegetation and animals, including the “consequential and secondary products, remains and waste, the energy content of which originated from phytomass or zoo-mass”.
  • Furthermore, the biomass regulation specifies which processes are allowed and the environmental requirements.
  • Included amongst the most important biogenous fuels are of course wood and leftover timber accumulating from forestry, in sawmills or as old timber. Fast-growing trees, e.g. poplars and willows, can be planted in so-called short-turnaround plantations and be harvested within a few years.
  • Organic residuals are also suitable energy sources. Liquid manure, bio-waste, sewage sludge, and municipal sewage and food leftovers can be converted into high-energy biogas. Biogas is also released from landfills.
  • However, biogas from landfills and sewage-treatment plants is not recognised as a biogas in the context of the biomass regulation, because it falls under a special clause of the Renweable Energy Sources Act.

BIOFUELS

  • The alcohols ethanol and methanol are very suitable for use as fuels in transportation, proven by years of experience
  • Bio fuels offer a good opportunity to partially substitute petroleum as an energy carrier in the transport sector, since its use addresses all three problems at once. The feedstock can be produced in the country of consumption – the reliance on imports is thus reduced, and they grow again – so they are renewable.
  • And, finally, a further enormous advantage of biofuels is that they are in principle CO2-neutral, because the CO2 emitted by their combustion was absorbed from the atmosphere during cultivation.
  • Pure ethanol can only run special motors, like those found in Brazil’s vehicle fleet in the eighties, or those used in the so-called “Flexible Fuel Vehicles”. A small fleet of these is operating in Sweden and in the United States. A more simple method is to add bio-ethanol to petrol, by which means bio-ethanol could be introduced into the market with little effort.

GEOTHERMAL ENERGY

  • Geothermal energy, or heat from the earth, is heat which reaches the surface of the earth from the earth’s molten core. On the way to the surface, both the layers of earth and the rocks, as well as any underground water reservoirs, are heated. In some locations, hot water and steam reach the earth’s surface in the form of hot springs or geysers.
  • The deeper one penetrates the interior of the earth, the warmer it becomes. In Central Europe the temperature increases by an average of 3 °C per 100 m depth. The temperature in the uppermost mantle is approximately 1,300 °C; in the earth’s core it is probably around 5,000 °C.
  • The heat stored in the earth is inexhaustible by human standards. Several times as much energy as is used world-wide ascends from the depths of our planet every day and escapes unused into space. Most of this heat flow originates from the continuous decay of radioactive elements in the mantle and in the earth’s crust, a process which will continue for billions of years. This source of energy can be used practically everywhere.
  • Either this transport medium is already available underground in the form of steam or hot water. In this case, it is brought to the surface where it cools down and is then normally returned underground again; or a medium, e.g. water, must first be pumped to the required depths and returned heated to the surface again.
  • The heat thereby acquired can then be used directly for heating purposes or for other heat consumers. Equally attractive is to use geothermal energy for electricity generation, because it is available round the clock. Geothermal energy power stations could thus provide a major contribution to the basic supply of electricity from a renewable source.

HEAT PUMPS

  • The utilisation of ambient heat with the help of heat pumps differs in one major aspect from using other sources of renewable energy. Namely, a heat pump is driven by a considerable amount of external energy, amounting to anywhere between a quarter and one half of the energy which is used as heat, depending on the exterior conditions.
  • This technology is therefore also considered as a rational use of energy, i.e. the same category as low-energy heating boilers.
  • Yet there is also a major difference from these techniques: Heat pumps do not only use the energy supplied for running the pump, but also energy from the surroundings. Decisive is whether or not the renewable energy proportion predominates. Thus the heat pump is a hybrid between an economical conventional use of energy and a source of renewable energy.
  • Absorption heat pumps are different than compression heat pumps. In an absorption heat pump, the mechanical compressor is replaced by a thermal compressor, run on a two-component mixture.
  • The absorption heat pump can be operated by any type of thermal energy with a sufficiently high temperature level, e.g. with heating oil, natural gas, or with bio fuels.
  • This pump is characterised by low-maintenance operation since, apart from a small solvents pump, there are no moving parts. Absorption heat pumps are frequently used in industry for utilising waste heat.

Natural Gas

  • Natural gas, a fossil fuel gift from nature, is composed of methane (96 %) with small amounts of propane and ethane. Natural gas deposits often accompany oil deposits or may occur independently.
  • It is the cleanest source of energy among fossil fuels. Natural gas can easily be transported through pipelines. It has a high calorific value and burns without any smoke. Natural gas can be used as a source of energy for domestic or industrial use.
  • It can be used for power generation and as a raw material for petrochemical industries and fertilizer plants. It results as a by-product during crude oil refining and from fractional distillation plants. About 40 percent of total natural gas is found in Kazakhstan, Russia.
  • India has a huge reserve of natural gas of which a large amount flares up due to lack of adequate storage, compression and transportation  facilities as a result about 17 million cubic meters  of  gas  a  day  is  wasted  or    Now  the  gas  is  distributed  from  Bombay  High  to Rajasthan,  Gujarat,  Madhya  Pradesh  and  Utter Pradesh by  a 1730 km  pipeline, the  Hazira-Vijapur-Jagdishpur pipeline.
  • A similar pipeline is proposed for South India to feed the natural gas of Bombay High and the gas imported from West Asia to southern states. A gas grid is also proposed for Assam.
  • Competing uses of land for forestry, agriculture, pastures, human settlements, and industries exert pressure on the finite land resource influencing land-use patterns and sometimes causing degradation. Changes in land use and land cover, and land degradation, have adverse impacts on forest resources and biodiversity. Given that they are intertwined in various ways, there is a need for treatment of land, forests, pastures, and biodiversity as an integrated resource.
  • India supports approximately 16% of the world’s population and 20% of its livestock on 2.5% of its geographical area. This pressure on land has led to its deterioration—soil erosion, water logging, salinization, nutrient depletion, lowering of groundwater tables, and soil pollution—largely caused by human interventions.

Concerns ?

  • Soil erosion has led to loss of topsoil and terrain deformation. Siltation, an off-site effect of erosion, is reducing the reservoir storage capacity by 1%–2% annually.
  • Human-induced water logging is resulting in a rise in the water table. ?
  • Salinization is likely to render more land unfit for biomass production, especially in the irrigated areas in Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, and Karnataka. ?
  • Most regions have a net negative balance of nutrients and suffer from a gradual depletion in the level of organic matter, a trend that is likely to continue. Maintaining the nutrient balance and preventing nutrient deficiencies is a major concern given that the required demand for food production will have to be met through increased intensity of cropping (Sehgal and Abrol 1994). ?
  • Over-extraction far exceeding recharge in areas where groundwater is mostly used for industrial and agricultural purposes, has led to progressive lowering of water table affecting the economy of water in use and the environment. ?
  • Improper and indiscriminate use of agrochemicals and untreated sewage sludge and municipal wastes has led to the pollution of soil and water with toxic substances and heavy metals.

Forests

  • At present, 40% of the commercial demand for timber and less than 20% of the demand for fuel wood are being met by sustainable supply from forests. Paucity of funds and other resources will lead to an inadequate emphasis on superior quality planting material and improved practices resulting in marginal increase in wood yield of forests.
  • The future demand for both commercial timber and fuel wood will, therefore, not be met sustainably from the wood produced from forest and tree cover; even though people’s preferences will move up the energy ladder with the availability of a range of substitutes for fuel wood.
  • In India, an average of 42 animals graze on a hectare of land, compared to the threshold level of 5. Thus, nearly a third of the fodder requirement is met from forest resources in the form of grazing and cut fodder for stall-feeding. An estimated 100 million cow units graze in forests annually against a sustainable level of 31 million.
  • Additionally, graziers collect 175–200 million tonnes of green fodder annually. Grazing affects approximately 78% of India’s forests (FSI) and occurs even in protected areas. Over-grazing and over-extraction of green fodder lead to forest degradation through decreased vegetative regeneration and, through compaction of soil, to reduced infiltration and vulnerability to erosion.
  • In the BAU scenario, inadequacy of grazing land will be more acute and forests will continue to be used for grazing extensively.

Biodiversity

  • India’s biodiversity is being gradually decimated. Maintaining viable populations of species, whether plant or animal is crucial in biodiversity conservation requiring the conservation of important ecosystems, habitats and the ecological processes of which they are part. According to IUCN, the World Conservation Union, 5% of a country’s area should comprise PAs.
  • India has almost achieved this target and given the intense pressures on land and forests, there is only a limited scope to increase the area under parks and sanctuaries. Currently, the PA network does not adequately cover some important biomes and species of conservation significance. It is, therefore, recommended that the area under parks and sanctuaries be increased to 160 national parks and 698 sanctuaries.
  • Since the number of protected areas cannot be increased substantially, the next question is of size of the reserves. Ideally, an effective conservation area should be large enough to ensure that all target species have genetically viable population sizes and that ecological processes are maintained.
  • In general, therefore, the thumb rule is to have areas as large as possible to maintain viable population sizes and if not, make do with what one has and manage the area intensively. This can be done, for example, by ensuring genetic viability by the creation of corridors, translocation and restocking, ensuring effective conservation of the surrounding reserve and protected forests including buffers.
  •  Further, the portions of dense forests other than PAs, are also important for maintaining the extant biodiversity, a significant proportion of which lies outside the PA network.
  • In the present time, environmental degradation has emerged as a major global problem. Man has made rapid developments in agriculture, industries, transportation and others area with the help of his technological and scientific skills. But in this process, man disturbing all the functioning of natural environment.
  • The world commission on environment and development opines that “the future is to face ever increasing environmental decay ,poverty, hardship and even more polluted world”
  • Earth will become crowded .more polluted, ecologically more disturbed, and more vulnerable than the world we live in present. Environmental degradation emerged as a most serious issue of concern not only in the developing world also in the developed countries.
  • Rapid population growth and economic development leads overexploitation of natural resources such as land, water, air etc. uncontrolled growth of urbanization and industrialization, expansion of agricultural land puts pressure on natural environmental resources like forest which caused the destruction of natural habitats of wild life animals. India is the second most populous country in the world having over 1.271 billion populations (17.5%) of world’s total population but has no more than 2.4% of global land.
  • The pressure of over population is much higher in the greater plain of India having 33% of the total population of India. The above mention fact indicates that in the northern plain main cause of environmental degradation is rapid growth of population that puts severe pressure on natural resources.
  • On the other side’s comparatively low population growth and high economic development caused environmental degradation in the southern and western regions of India. The north eastern part of the country having low population is rich in natural resources (highly forested) because these regions are underdeveloped and very little movements of man.

Internet of Things Role in the Renewable Energy Resources

  • The concept of Smart Cities is becoming a reality as it evolves from conceptual models to developmental stages.
  • Resilient, reliable, efficient and seamless energy and electrical power flow are essential parts to energize and power the services of smart cities such as smart hospitals, smart buildings, smart factories, smart traffic and transportations.
  • All of these smart services are expected to run without interruptions by the use of smart energy and electrical power grids which are considered among the most important pillars for such cities.
  • To keep the services of smart cities interconnected and in sync, the Internet of Things (IoT) and cloud computing are key in such transfers.

The Future of Big Data

  • The term "big data" began appearing in dictionaries during the past decade, but the concept itself has been around since at least WWII.
  • More recently, wireless connectivity, internet 2.0, and other technologies have made the management and analysis of massive data sets a reality for all of us.
  • Big data refers to data sets that are too large and complex for traditional data processing and data management applications.
  • Big data became more popular with the advent of mobile technology and the Internet of Things, because people were producing more and more data with their devices. Consider the data generated by geolocation services, web browser histories, social media activity, or even fitness apps.
  • Consumers live in a digital world of instant expectation. From digital sales transactions to marketing feedback and refinement, everything in today’s cloud-based business world moves fast.
  • All these rapid transactions produce and compile data at an equally speedy rate. Putting this information to good use in real-time often means the difference between capitalizing on information for a 360 view of the target audience, and losing customers to competitors who do.

The five Vs of big data

  • Volume - Develop a plan for the amount of data that will be in play, and how and where it will be housed.
  • Variety - Identify all the different sources of data in play in an ecosystem and acquire the right tools for ingesting it.
  • Velocity - Again, speed is critical in modern business. Research and deploy the right technologies to ensure the big data picture is being developed in as close to real-time as possible.
  • Veracity - Garbage in, garbage out, so make sure the data is accurate and clean.
  • Value - Not all gathered environmental information is of equal importance, so build a big data environment that surfaces actionable business intelligence in easy to understand ways.

Conclusion

  • Developing renewable energy can help India increase its energy security, reduce adverse impacts on the  local  environment,  lower  its  carbon  intensity,  contribute to  a more  balanced regional development,  and realize  its  aspirations  for leadership in  high-technology  According to a report, India is the third most favoured destination globally, for investments in the renewable energy sector.
  • The report also says that the country will be a major source of new entrants into the sector, after the US and China. The Indian renewable energy market has become increasingly dynamic  in  recent  years  as  a  result  of  strong  natural  resources,  greater accommodation to international investments and a variety of government incentives. Solar and wind energy will be the major areas to witness overseas investments and acquisitions in the near future.
  • With all  the  attractive  characteristics  and  potential  stated  above,  India  presents  a significant market opportunity for renewable energy firms worldwide. However, these firms will need external guidance and assistance on several strategic and operational aspects before they are in a position to effectively tap into this opportunity.
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