18 May 2013

A threat from flu viruses in birds, pigs - The Hindu

A threat from flu viruses in birds, pigs - The Hindu

LinkedIn now has 20 million users in India - The Hindu

LinkedIn now has 20 million users in India - The Hindu

Green energy from blue sea

File photo of Donghai Bridge Offshore Wind Farm, Shangai, China. Agency for Non-conventional Energy and Rural Technology (ANERT) is preparing to take up a wind monitoring study to identify potential offshore sites in Kerala.
Offshore wind farms to produce power for Kerala

A few years from now, wind farms located at sea could be churning out clean energy to feed the starved power grid in Kerala.

The Agency for Non-conventional Energy and Rural Technology (ANERT) is preparing to take up a wind monitoring study to identify potential offshore sites. The project is to be launched with the assistance of the Dutch government.

The Netherlands has made significant progress in harnessing wind as a renewable energy source. The country has set a target to build 6,000 MW of offshore wind power by 2020, mostly from the North Sea. During a recent discussion held with officials in Kerala, representatives of the Dutch government offered to collaborate in developing offshore wind farms.

ANERT director M. Jayaraju told The Hindu that the study would be followed by a pilot project, subject to a policy decision by the government. The project, he said, would be launched with the necessary safeguards to ensure that the offshore platforms did not interfere with fishing activities. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has identified the Kerala-Konkan coast as one of the potential sites for offshore wind farms in India.

Offshore wind farms are preferred because of the non-availability of land in densely populated coastal areas with high wind potential. The added efficiency of offshore wind power is another advantage over onshore wind turbines.

ANERT is also preparing to take up a wind-monitoring study to assess the potential for land-based wind farms in the coastal regions of the State. The study would be carried out at four locations with the help of the Centre for Wind Energy Technology (C-WET), a Chennai-based autonomous research and development institution under MNRE.

C.K. Chandrabose, Joint Technical Director, Wind Energy project, ANERT, said the year-long studies would generate real-time, on-site data on the wind potential of offshore and coastal regions in Kerala. The base data would be a crucial factor in attracting independent power producers to set up wind farms, he said.

ANERT is also gearing up to update the available wind monitoring data at potential sites on land. The total technically-feasible onshore wind potential of the State is estimated to be around 800 MW, limited to 17 locations in Palakkad, Idukki, and Thiruvananthapuram, where the wind speed is above 15 km/hr.

The main windy areas in the State are the eastern mountainous regions of Idukki district bordering Tamil Nadu and the elevated areas in the Palakkad gap. Ponmudi in Thiruvananthapuram is another potential site.

Mr. Chandrabose said monitoring stations equipped to generate wind data at a height of 80 metres had been installed at Kanjikode in Palakkad, Chelamala in Malappuram, and Pullikanam, Vandiperiyar and Kulathumedu in Idukki.

Meanwhile, two new wind farms, slated to come up soon at Kanjikode and Ramakkalmedu in Idukki will augment the State’s total installed capacity of wind energy. While the farm at the Kinfra Park in Kanjikode will add 22 MW, the one at Ramakkalmedu being set up by NTPC will add another 20 MW to the current installed capacity of 34 MW generated by KSEB at Kanjikode and independent power producers at Attappady and Ramakkalmedu.

Source - The Hindu

14 May 2013

Keep cool with summer fruits

A vendor displays coconut kernel, ready for consumption.Summer months may be harsh on people in Vijayawada, but it is the best time ever to savour some of the best fruits available. Most colourful and in different flavours is the King of fruits – Mango. Whether raw or ripe, mango leaves a lingering taste in the mouth. Another colourful fruit is the watermelon with a green outer skin and red inside with a lots of watery sweet juice to keep you really cool even in the hottest summer day like Friday, when the temperature touched 44 Degrees Celsius. Another cool customer is palmera fruit for which people wait for a year to swallow the cool spongy jelly filled with water as soon as the toddy taper cuts the top. Yellowish Cashew fruit again with an unique taste and sometime sticky, is a big hit in the dry upland rural areas and have flooded the Vijayawada market. How can we forget the most sought-after tender coconut with a large reservoir of sweet water and occasionally a jelly-like kernel inside? Coconut flowers are yet another attraction.

Source - THE HINDU

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