Important Current Affairs For UPSC ESE PRELIM 2020 EXAM: Part 8

Important Current Affairs For UPSC ESE PRELIM 2020 EXAM: Part 8

Current Affairs Related to Energy


  • Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) has developed a national strategy document titled UNNATEE (Unlocking NATional Energy Efficiency Potential) towards developing an energy efficient nation (2017-2031).
  • UNNATEE Implementation Strategy Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) has developed a national strategy document titled UNNATEE (Unlocking NATional Energy Efficiency Potential) towards developing an energy efficient nation (2017-2031).
  • This report aims to establish a clear linkage between energy supply-demand scenarios and energy efficiency opportunities.
  • India’s energy demand in 2016-17 = 790 Mtoe(million tonnes of oil equivalent)
  • Energy saving potential by 2031 = 87 Mtoe o Total emission reduction = 858 MtCO2 in 2030
  • Total energy efficiency investment potential = Rs. 8.40 lakh crore by 2031.


  • The Union government has approved various measures to promote hydropower sector
  • Declaration of Large hydropower projects (LHPs, i.e. >25 MW) as renewable energy projects.
  • Increase the share of renewable energy in the total energy mix of the country and will help India achieve target of 175 GW of renewable energy by 2022.


  • Recently the Visakhapatnam Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) facility was operationalized. Union government approved the construction of two more strategic petroleum reserves in the country.

What are Strategic petroleum reserves?

  • It is a storage of crude oil which would act as a cushion during any external supply disruptions or supply demand mismatch shock.
  • The global standard for strategic oil reserves, as set by International Energy Agency (IEA) and Integrated Energy Policy 2006 of India recommended that country should maintain a reserve equivalent to 90 days of oil imports for strategic cum-buffer stock purposes. The crude oil storages are constructed in underground rock caverns and are located on the East and West coast of India.
  • They are considered to be more environment friendly and incur less evaporation loss than ground level storage. Construction of storage facilities are maintained by Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves Limited (a special purpose vehicle of the Oil Industry Development Board under Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas).
  • Presently, strategic reserves are situated at Visakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh), Mangalore (Karnataka), and Padur (Kerala). Moreover, project of three additional reserves is in pipeline at Chandikhol (Orrisa), Bikaner (Rajasthan) and Rajkot (Gujrat).

Important Current Affairs For UPSC ESE PRELIM 2020 EXAM: Part 7


  • Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has recently declared revised targets for offshore wind power capacity addition.
  • The recently firmed up offshore wind power target is 5 GW by 2022 and 30 GW by 2030.
  • About 35 major players, global as well as local, in the offshore wind energy sector responded.
  • The National Institute of Wind Energy (NIWE) is designated the official agency to develop offshore wind power.


  • The National Policy on Biofuels-2018 approved by the Government envisages an indicative target of 20% blending of ethanol in petrol and 5% blending of bio-diesel in diesel by 2030.

National Policy on biofuels- salient features:

  • Categorization: The Policy categorises biofuels as “Basic Biofuels” viz. First Generation (1G) bioethanol & biodiesel and “Advanced Biofuels” – Second Generation (2G) ethanol, Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) to drop-in fuels, Third Generation (3G) biofuels, bio-CNG etc. to enable extension of appropriate financial and fiscal incentives under each category.
  • Viability gap funding: With a thrust on Advanced Biofuels, the Policy indicates a viability gap funding scheme for 2G ethanol Bio refineries of Rs.5000 crore in 6 years in addition to additional tax incentives, higher purchase price as compared to 1G biofuels.
  • Boost to biodiesel production: The Policy encourages setting up of supply chain mechanisms for biodiesel production from non-edible oilseeds, Used Cooking Oil, short gestation crops.

Scope of raw materials:

  • The Policy expands the scope of raw material for ethanol production by allowing use of Sugarcane Juice, Sugar containing materials like Sugar Beet, Sweet Sorghum, Starch containing materials like Corn, Cassava, Damaged food grains like wheat, broken rice, Rotten Potatoes, unfit for human consumption for ethanol production.


  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the “Pradhan Mantri JI-VAN (Jaiv Indhan- Vatavaran Anukool fasal awashesh Nivaran) Yojana“.
  • The scheme provides financial support to Integrated Bioethanol Projects using lignocellulosic biomass and other renewable feedstock.
  • The scheme focuses to incentivise 2G Ethanol sector and support this nascent industry by creating a suitable ecosystem for setting up commercial projects and increasing Research & Development in this area.
  • Apart from supplementing the targets envisaged by the Government under EBP programme, the scheme will also have the following benefits:
  • Meeting Government of India vision of reducing import dependence by way of substituting fossil fuels with Biofuels.
  • Achieving the GHG emissions reduction targets through progressive blending/ substitution of fossil fuels.
  • Addressing environment concerns caused due to burning of biomass/ crop residues & improve health of citizens.
  • Improving farmer income by providing them remunerative income for their otherwise waste agriculture residues.
  • Creating rural & urban employment opportunities in 2G Ethanol projects and Biomass supply chain.
  • Contributing to Swacch Bharat Mission by supporting the aggregation of nonfood biofuel feedstocks such as waste biomass and urban waste.
  • Indigenizing of Second Generation Biomass to Ethanol technologies.

Important Current Affairs For UPSC ESE PRELIM 2020 EXAM: Part 5


  • Oil PSUs have entered into MoUs with State Governments and Technology Providers for setting up five 2G ethanol bio-refineries. In 2016, the foundation stone of India’s first 2G ethanol bio-refinery in Bathinda, Punjab has been laid.
  • In the National Policy on Biofuels 2018, Government has allowed B grade heavy molasses, sugarcane juice and damaged food grains as feedstocks to increase availability of ethanol.
  • Biofuels are fuels produced directly or indirectly from organic material biomass, including plant materials and animal waste.
  • Primary biofuels are organic materials used in an unprocessed form, primarily for heating, cooking or electricity production.
  • Ethanol is a secondary biofuel which is produced through processing of biomass. First generation biofuels are produced directly from food crops. Second Generation (2G) biofuels are produced from marginal croplands unsuitable for food production.

Important Current Affairs For UPSC ESE PRELIM 2020 EXAM: Part 4



  • The system has been developed under India’s flagship program ‘New Millennium Indian Technology Leadership Initiative (NMITLI)’.
  • It has been developed by CSIR in partnership with Indian industries.
  • This makes it a unique example of Public-Private Partnership (PPP) among CSIR’s three Laboratories- (CSIR-NCL, Pune; CSIR-NPL, New Delhi; CSIR-CECRI, Karaikudi (Chennai Center)) and two Indian industries namely, M/s Thermax Limited (Pune) and M/s Reliance Industries Limited (Mumbai).


  • The 5.0 kW fuel cell system generates power in a green manner.
  • It uses methanol or bio-methane, with heat and water as bi-products for further use.
  • This further amounts to more than 70% efficiency, which otherwise may not be possible by other energy sources.
  • Fuel Cells developed are based on High-Temperature Proton Exchange Membrane (HTPEM) Technology.


  • In the field of clean energy, Fuel Cell distributed power generation systems are emerging as one of the most promising alternative to grid power.
  • This development is most suitable for distributed stationary power applications and where highly reliable power is essential with simultaneous requirement for air-conditioning such as- for small offices, data centers, commercial units, etc.
  • It will also meet the requirement of efficient, clean and reliable backup power generator for telecom towers, remote locations as well as strategic applications.
  • Fuel Cells fit well in India’s mission of replacing diesel with green and alternate fuels, thus this development would replace Diesel Generating (DG) sets and will help in reducing India’s dependence on crude oil.


  • Recently, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has declared Ocean Energy as renewable energy.
  • The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has thus clarified to all the stakeholders that energy produced using various forms of ocean energy such as tidal, wave, ocean thermal energy conversion among others shall be considered as renewable energy and shall be eligible for meeting the non-solar Renewable Purchase Obligations (RPO)
  • Under the RPO, distribution companies (DISCOMs) are required to have certain proportion of clean energy supplies. The proportion is fixed by state power regulators.
  • The Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) has a theoretical potential of 180,000 MW in India subject to suitable technological evolution.
  • The total identified potential of tidal energy is about 12,455 MW, with potential locations identified at Khambat & Kutch regions, and large backwaters, where barrage technology could be used.
  • The total theoretical potential of wave energy in India along the country’s coast is estimated to be about 40,000 MW.
  • A variety of different technologies are currently under development throughout the world to harness this energy in all its forms. In this direction, the Government has been trying to utilize the Ocean Energy Capacity.
  • It is open to public and private sectors to carry out projects in India


  • Recently, The Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has issued operational guidelines for the implementation of Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan (PM Kusum) Scheme.
  • The scheme aims to provide energy security along with financial and water security to farmers.
  • It would encourage farmers to generate solar power in their farms and use the clean energy to replace their diesel water pumps.
  • It targets to add decentralised solar power capacity of 25,750 megawatt by 2022



  • ICER is a first of its kind in India which is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities. This new centre would realise the vision of affordable, efficient, compact and reliable clean energy systems.
  • It was formed to conduct socially relevant research to benefit people directly. Also, translational research carried out by ICER faculty has resulted in technology transfers in India and abroad.
  • Research conducted here would be in line with various national missions to have more reach.
  • ICER is also considering starting a new Master’s course on energy.
  • ICER plans to expand its activities in several energy-related areas with an emphasis on process and material development, in collaboration with manufacturing industry.
  • The centre is focused on developing sustainable technologies for renewable energy, combustion, next-generation solar photovoltaic, concentrated solar power, novel energy storage technologies, hydrogen, bio-mass and bio-fuels.


  • The prestigious project is the 1st oil pipeline in Nepal, 1st transnational petroleum pipeline from India as well as 1st South Asian oil pipeline corridor. It is a 69 kilometre-long pipeline that will run from Motihari in Bihar to Amelkhgunj in Nepal with a capacity of 2 million metric ton (MMT) per annum.
  • It will ensure smooth, cost effective and eco- friendly supply of petroleum products to Nepal.
  • India’s largest refiner the Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOCL) built the pipeline, with an investment of more than Rs.324 crore, in collaboration with Nepal Oil Corporation Ltd (NOCL).



  • It is a national consortium on clean coal research and development led by IISc.
  • The partner of IISc includes IIT- Kharagpur, Madras, Guwahati, Bombay, and Hyderabad.
  • The consortium will work on identifying existing gaps in clean coal technology as major problem being faced by Indian power plants is high level of pollutants and low thermal efficiency.
  • The new centre would address several critical Research & Development (R&D) challenges towards development of clean coal technologies in tandem with developing supercritical power plantt technologies, both at materials and system level.
  • The centre will also address challenges such as development of low emission combustion and gasification, and achieve high cycle efficiencies with reduced pollutants.


  • Scientific and collective endeavours like NCCCR&D would enable achievement of an affordable, efficient, and compact reliable clean energy system.
  • It would help India in achieving international targets and ‘nationally determined contributions’ on climate change which inlcudes-
  • To have at-least 40% of our total requirement of energy to be from clean energy sources by 2030 (of this India have already achieved around 34-35%) .
  • Reducing emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) by 33% to 35% by 2030. Target beneficiaries of NCCCR&D:
  • It includes national organisations such as the Gas Authority of India Ltd. (GAIL), National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), Bharat Heavy Electronics Ltd. (BHEL), Triveni Turbines Ltd and Tata Power.

Important Current Affairs For UPSC ESE PRELIM 2020 EXAM: Part 6