22.2.23 APPSC Daily Current Affairs

Green energy to be key investment focus at GIS
Andhra Pradesh is betting big on renewable energy, which is one of the top focus areas for the state at the upcoming Global Investors Summit (GIS) 2023 to be held in Visakhapatnam on March 3 and 4.
The YS Jagan Mohan Reddy-led government is leaving no stone unturned to lure investors into investing in this sunrise sector. The state already boasts of 9GW of renewable power installed capacity, comprising 4.3GW of solar power, 4.1GW of wind power, 444MW of biomass, 106MW of small hydro, 36MW of municipal solid waste, and 41MW of industrial waste to power plants.
In fact, renewable energy already accounts for around 36% of the total installed power generation capacity in the state, said AP finance minister Buggana Rajendranath. “With rich renewable energy hubs carrying the potential for setting up 38GW in solar, and 44GW (at 100-meter hub height) in wind, Andhra Pradesh provides a conducive environment and excellent opportunities for investments in renewable energy,” said the minister.
He pointed out that the state government has already readied plans to facilitate lease of 5 lakh acres of land to renewable energy exports project developers. “The state has already rolled in a shelf of seven projects with an estimated potential of 17,800MW to set up solar, wind, and solar-wind hybrid power projects. We are coming up with the world’s largest integrated renewable energy storage project with a capacity of 4,230MW, that entails 2,300MW of solar PV, 250MW of wind, and 1,680MW of pumped storage hydro with storage capacity of 10GWh,” explained Buggana.
Apart from renewable energy, the AP government has identified renewable energy, automobiles and electric vehicles, aerospace and defence, agriculture and food processing, healthcare and medical equipment, petroleum and petrochemicals, industrial and logistics infrastructure in addition to electronics, IT, maritime, tourism and hospitality as main focus areas for GIS-2023.
Asian Waterbird Census 2023: Diversity, number at Okhla sanctuary less than last yr
The Asian Waterbird Census (AWC) 2023 at the Okhla Bird Sanctuary has recorded a decreased total number of water birds and overall species diversity in relation to previous years.
Okhla Bird Sanctuary is the most degraded, polluted and disturbed habitat in all respects, decreasing overall water birds number and species diversity including migratory birds every year,” it said.
The wetland habitat several times in a year remains completely dried, the latest being the recent migration season in October-November, 2022 which  impacts on the breeding of the resident birds, and lesser arrival of winter migratory water birds. Till December, 2022 the sanctuary witnessed the least number of migratory water birds, resulting in overall decreased population.
The AWC 2023 recorded further decreased species diversity:from 47 (2022) to 36 (2023) and total number: 9,143 to 6,083 (2023) dominated the total number by common winter migratory species Northern Shoveler and then Eurasian Coot in comparison to previous years.
Black Sea Grain Initiative
The Black Sea Grain initiative endeavours to tackle escalating food prices emanating from supply chain disruptions because of Russian actions in the world’s ‘breadbasket’.
The deal brokered by the United Nations (UN) and Turkey, was signed in Istanbul in July, 2022.
The central idea was to calm markets by ensuring an adequate supply of grains, thereby limiting food price inflation.
The deal put in place a Joint Coordination Centre (JCC), comprising senior representatives from Russia, Turkey, Ukraine and the UN for oversight and coordination.
Maharashtra lags in clean energy transition, Karnataka, Gujarat top list
Maharashtra, the state with the highest electricity demand in India, lags behind several others when it comes to energy transition to renewable sources. This is mainly due to slow renewable energy uptake in the state and its inability to shut down older, polluting coal power plants, said a report. It should nevertheless be considered that though Maharashtra lags on the transition parameter in percentage terms, because of its greater net power generation, it has a higher reference point for a comparison with other states.
According to the study, Rajasthan and Maharashtra showed low participation in green markets. It said that Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, and Maharashtra have a huge potential to become renewable energy export hubs by utilising their untapped clean energy potential. These states have made limited efforts to participate in green market mechanisms like GDAM (green day ahead market), it added.
Ember is an independent, not-for-profit climate and energy think tank while the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) examines issues related to energy markets, trends, and policies.
Vulture population in Western Ghats down from 10,000 to hundreds
With the number of vultures nestling amid Western Ghats in Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu dramatically plunging from about 10,000 two decades ago to a few hundreds now, the state forest department and Wildlife Conservation Society have undertaken a survey in the tiger reserves to ascertain the reasons for the worrying development.
The survey was conducted in the forests spread across the three states to count the vulture population. In Karnataka, the survey was in Bandipur, BRT and Nagarahole tiger reserves.
Earlier, the three states used to conduct separate surveys in different periods, but now they are holding the synchronized survey to avoid duplication of data in Mudumalai Tiger Reserve of Tamil Nadu, Waynad Wildlife Sanctuary of Kerala and Karnataka’s three tiger reserves.
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