Wind energy; forest land aquisition; carbon credit;


Last Wednesday I was on some remote mountain , near sangli, ~150 kilometers south of Pune city, on National Highway 4. These mountain ranges where all covered by wind mills, belonging to several companies, mostly suzlon, vesta and enercon.

These companies install/develop wind mills for anyone who wants to buy it, or rather invest money. Cost of simplest wind mill starts ~4 crores [1 million]. These companies keep many windmill for them self.

I was out with one senior engineer working with enercon and kept asking him many questions about economics of wind energy and related activities. He has been working for wind energy companies for last 10 years.

He has supervised actual installations of wind mills and has done liasioning [formal paperwork] of certifying carbon credits for wind energy produced. At this point of time he takes care of land acquisition for his company.

He looks for two different types of lands, one which can be actually used for installing newer wind mills and other land is for forestation. He explained me that for every piece of land which gets used for wind mills, company has to submit replacement land and handover to forest department.[I am not sure if thats the only intention, there are chances that these companies claim carbon credits for all forest land they buy] Cost of acre land in forest region was around 25000 Indian rupees[~500 bucks].

Later I told him how American entrepreneurs are taking benefits of carbon credits. I know of one Professor from berkley university who has come up with genetically modified rice seeds, he has a deal with farmers in Indonesia, who use these seeds for cultivation. These crops emit less carbon than the usual ones, he collects carbon credits for it. Another story where a Texas based company throws a kind of green algae in middle of sea, these living plants absorb carbon from atmosphere and this company claims carbon credits.

posted by Nitin @ 8:14 PM, , links to this post

Athithi devo bhavo !?

I am at home[Mumbai, India] since last 4 days. Before taking connecting flight from london heathrow I called my mom and told her that I am skipping all meals[except coffee] in last 7 hours of my London-Mumbai flight and will have food only after reaching home. She kept bhakri and shaak ready. [shaak is what we call any vegetable-cooked-curry in Gujarati]. I have loved bhakri cooked by mom ever since I was born.

Reched Home, sat down to have food, it was full of oil and spices. I did let go my calorie filtration for a day and had everything. It felt like I was eating some good meal after 18 long months.

Its been 4 days i am in Mumbai and most amazing thing about this trip so far has been food. I have been out with friends, had fish. My mom has tried cooking almost everything[vegetarian] I wished for. My aunty made vada pav, she knows my style, that even if i love vada-pav, i am going to have max 2 or 3, hence very nicely I get 3 vadas and optional pav and green chatni in a tiffin box, delivered at my place.

Another aunty calls me for morning tea and then she surprises me with Kadak-pav.[In india bread is often called Pav and kadak in hindi means hard]. I was regular customer of irani restaurants around bombay, while i was in Mumbai. If you have not tried, do it now, goto Irani restaurant, early morning. [my favourite one is off sv road near shivaji park]. Ask for maska-pav and tea. Pav should be kadak-pav. There are few things which are unique to bombay lifestyle, I believe this item is one of them.

After living in california at a strecth for 18 months, I have got into habit of watching for calories. Any food item I see now first thing i try calculate is calories. I dont talk abt it, here in mumbai to anyone, because they will laugh over it, calling me typical desi trying to act like NRI. but anyways, calorie watch is all in my mind.

Last evening i understood some intersting point about Indian culture and felt that why its not applicable anymore. In India we have a phrase "Athithi Devo Bhavo", I love this phrase and practise it everytime with best capacity.

Here in India this phrase needs some repair work. I visit some relative and they make me eat lot of food. I love what they do and I love food they bring in front of me. But everyone here in mumbai beleives that love is expressed only through food, if they make you eat one additional thing, they have passed more love and respect. During olden days, people use to walk 5-6 kilometers or more before they reached someone's house. And these people were hardworking people and they use to be hungry. "Athithi devo bhavo" was perfectly applicable here. You were suppose to provide lot of good and rich food to your guest. However this practice is not correct anymore. Nowdays people are already stuffed with food, and then they take cab or auto-rickshaw and get down right in front of your apartment gate :) They come to your house, and there is no need of lot of food. Overeating kills!.

I am not complaining about anything here, but just expressing something i came across. I love everyone in mumbai. They have no idea, how a cooked delicious dish feels like million dollars to a bachelor who lives in USA. I cook, its healthy but not very delicious. Having those ready made rotis from bharat bazaar store feels like nightmare after you have tasted hot fresh rotis at home in India.[Ahh..I dont want to have those rotis again :( ]
Life is easy for now. By the time i will get completely reed of my calorie watch game, my 4 weeks holidays will be all over and I will be back to california.

posted by Nitin @ 5:43 PM, , links to this post