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India-South Korea Collaboration in Green Energy Initiatives

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

Two emerging powers in the Asia- Pacific region, India and South Korea, continue to extend their tentacles of friendly relations. India, with its ‘Look East Policy’, and South Korea with its ‘New Asia Policy’ seem to be drawing the same road map to progress. What could be more productive than collaboration and co-operation?
Going beyond infrastructure develop­ment, automobile industry, steel, defense equipment and consumer electronics and communications technology, the two na­tions have come together in energy-related fields to become self-reliant as well as to be environmentally friendly in their endeav­ors.
South Korean Scenario
The green initiatives launched by South Korea will first tackle the spurt in carbon emissions, which increased sharply from 1990 to 2005 due to industrialization. To reduce dependence on fossil fuels, Korea is using green fuels where possible. The South Korean automobile company Hyundai is serious about developing and producing hybrid cars which will run on LPG with an electric motor.
The Green Action Plan, working on a budget of US$84 billion, is aimed at cutting car emissions and also making buildings and houses which are increasingly energy efficient, progressively moving towards a ‘green nation’ target by 2020. An outlay of US$193 million set aside by the country will be used towards development of alternative sources of energy such as solar, wind and biofuels. This will boost renewable energy production within Korea and reduce depen­dence on oil imports.
Such green initiatives, including green buildings and fuel conscious vehicles, will be followed by better water usage and uti­lization of biomass. Introduction of ‘green bonds’ and carbon savings are expected to encourage private companies to adopt green initiatives in all tasks, making LEDs, solar cells and hybrid cars more popular.
South Korea introduced carbon trading in its endeavor to become the seventh most competitive country in the world in con­sideration of energy efficiency and climate change adaptability. This will also result in 1.8 million new jobs to feed the growing global green market, which will also help the country prosper.
With rising electricity costs and the growing burden on Korea Electric Power Corporation, it is imperative that South Ko­rea
offers tax incentives and other benefits to businesses, encouraging them to develop viable green technologies.
South Korea has embarked on building a vast offshore wind farm with a capacity of 2.5 GW that will be operational by 2019. Government and private companies, led by the Ministry of Knowledge Economy, are de­veloping this project to make wind energy an alternate source of clean energy. The United Kingdom’s ‘Renewable UK’ will as­sist the Korea Wind Energy Association in its efforts.
Indian Green Efforts
India, for its part, has brought together private sector companies to form the Alli­ance for Energy Efficient Economy (AEEE), which targets saving energy by introduc­ing energy efficient methods in homes and businesses. The IT industry is also an active partner in carbon mitigation efforts and addressing climate change. To reduce their carbon footprint, IT majors like Info­sys have come forward by reducing travel, cutting down on power consumption, and so on. The use of tele- and video-conferenc­ing methods, for example, has reduced air-travel.
Indian environmental agencies strive to enhance public information systems to promote environmental compliance and enforcement, aiming to improve environ­mental quality for all Indian citizens. Many companies like ITC operate green buildings while imposing control on usage of comput­ers, machinery and vehicles.
The Indian state of Kerala is working on a solar power policy, along with the launch­ing of a “10,000 Solar Home Program” un­der the National Solar Mission. Thermal and wind sources are also being considered by
Kerala to supply power in the state. Many other states also have unique programs charted out, solar rickshaws being one of them. Huge wind farms are already in oper­ation in several states. The wind farm instal­lation in Tamil Nadu generates 7000 MW of energy, feeding adjoining towns and cities.
The symbol of an earthen pot serves as the Indian government’s eco-labeling scheme, known as ‘Ecomark’, which is awarded to environmentally-friendly prod­ucts and methods like raw material extrac­tion, manufacturing and disposal.
India has been rated as the top producer of solar energy in the world, producing an annual yield of 1,700 to 1,900 KW hours per KW peak (kWh/KWp). Estimates in June 2012 put Indian energy generation from renewable sources at 31 percent, including hydroelectric power.
Yet India still has a long way to go as its de­mand for energy will increase further along with its fast economic development. As de­pendence on fossil fuels is not enough, adop­tion of renewable energy sources is a must.
India, South Korea Green Deal
The Association of South East Asian Na­tions, or ASEAN, has brought together the regional powers of South Korea and India to help other countries take part in research in green technology development and the use of green and clean energy alternatives in every walk of life.
The East Asia Climate Partnership, which is a carbon-trading market for developing countries, was launched by Korea to provide grant aid programs for developing countries and help them fight climate change.
The Central Leather Research Institute in India has developed the eco-friendly ‘wet
blue manufacturing process’ to improve quality of leather and reduce environmen­tal pollution by using enzymes in place of harmful chemicals in processing hides and skins. This technology will be used by Korea and other countries as part of an eco-friend­ly collaboration process.
Use of pesticides like herbicides, fungi­cides, insecticides and chemical fertilizers contribute to global warming and are harm­ful to soil, which will in turn affect agricul­ture. To make agriculture thrive while con­tributing to a more environmentally stable global environment, natural and organic ways of cultivation are becoming more im­perative.
Green farming methods developed by Dr. Hu Cho-han from Korea cost less and use natural inputs to attract microbes. Cooked rice, jaggery water and pulses boosts soil fertility, and fermented plant juice can be used instead of insect pesticides. These will
not harm the soil nor emit greenhouse gas­ses. Dr. Hu conducted extensive research in developing such alternatives in a micro-lab in Tirupati, India, working along with a Bangalore-based firm.
Global warming has altered the climate in many places, which has had adverse ef­fects on agriculture, human beings and livestock. Rising water levels in oceans pose a danger to many small island nations too. To combat this, the Asia-Pacific Partnership for Clean Development and Climate (APP CDC) was formed in 2005. This association includes India, China, the United States, Ja­pan, South Korea, Australia and Canada.
Towards the aim of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, new technology is one way forward to stopping climate change, opine association members. South Korea and In­dia are part of such joint ventures covering various fields, including better power distri­bution systems.
Considering nuclear energy, the world is nowadays divided as to whether it is ‘green’ or not. Although it does not emit carbon gasses, many people do not put nuclear energy under the green category. The grow­ing demand for energy cannot be catered to exclusively with oil resources and burning carbon-based fuels which produce harm­ful greenhouse gasses. Further solar, wind, tidal and other renewable alternate sources of energy will not be enough to supply the demand.
However, nuclear reactions can gen­erate immense energy compared to all other means and also do not give off greenhouse gasses. Efforts are afoot by the Global Energy Corporation to develop solutions based on a proprietary Green Nuclear Energy (GeNiE) Reactor technol­ogy. When high-energy nuclear particles are produced more efficiently, they gener­ate ‘green nuclear energy’. Both fissioning uranium and un-enriched uranium can be used in this technology. Even hazardous nuclear waste and associated actinides available in huge volumes can be further fissioned to generate more energy from the fuel rods. This makes the nuclear waste safer to dispose.
South Korea and India have signed a pact which entails the former to construct nuclear reactors in India. Considering the construction methods, materials, opera­tion and occurrences of accidents, nuclear plants are safer than other energy genera­tion sources besides being green. Also the power generating capacity is manifold, which can be used by industries and resi­dences, according to some experts.
Korean contribution to infrastructure de­velopment in India is remarkable.
The eco-friendly road construction method used to lay roads in New Delhi by Korean companies utilizes a new material called Darin Asphalt Modified Additive, an additive of asphalt with pores. This ‘ecophalt’ contains an additive packaged in eco-friendly ways which leaves no resi­due or waste, as even the bag containing the additive will melt along with the bitu­men mix and other materials. Besides be­ing eco-friendly, this process and material makes roads more durable and less slip­pery.
The eco-friendly projects undertaken by the two nations aim at reducing carbon emissions. Strict guidelines have been stipulated for all industries to follow. Both India and South Korea have launched en­ergy efficiency measures to fight climate change and to fix carbon emission targets that have to be reached by 2020. The cli­mate change plan envisioned by India and South Korea strives to save power by the efficient use of energy sources

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