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Proposed Khurja coal power plant overpriced, threat to Delhi’s air quality: IEEFA

The Khurja proposal relies on a prohibitively expensive 900-km-long rail haul to bring coal to the plant. Additionally, the market price of coal continues to increase globally.



coal powerplant
Coal Power plant Picture

New Delhi, Oct 23 : The state-run THDCIL’s proposed Khurja coal power plant in Uttar Pradesh would not only push up the cost of electricity at a time when renewable energy options are cheaper but will also be a threat to Delhi’s air quality, a report said on Tuesday.

THDCIL, formerly known as Tehri Hydro Development Corporation Ltd, is a joint venture of the Central and Uttar Pradesh governments with a 75:25 equity sharing ratio.

Releasing the report titled “The Khurja Thermal Power Project: A Recipe for an Indian Stranded Asset”, the US-based the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) recommended that the 1,320 MW proposal should be re-evaluated against severe air pollution levels in Delhi.

Also, the real threat of government financing wasted on another expensive stranded asset, increasingly cheaper renewable energy options and India’s ambitious sustainable energy goals.

The Khurja project entails an investment of Rs 12,676 crore. While the first unit is scheduled to be commissioned in November 2022, the second unit would go on steam in April 2023.

The electricity users — the state and central governments — and project’s lenders should not be burdened with yet another expensive stranded asset at a time when local residents need cleaner energy options, IEEFA Director of Energy Finance Studies Tim Buckley told reporters here.

“Delhi already has the dubious reputation of having the worst air pollution of any city in the world. If the Khurja coal plant is built as planned near Delhi, this will increase the impact on local residents, emergency workers and the local government.

“The Khurja power plant was feasible when first proposed eight years ago in response to power supply shortages and outages across northern India, but technology has moved on,” he said.

According to Buckley, renewable energy generation in India is now cheaper than Khurja’s non-minemouth coal, with ongoing price declines prompting states, including Uttar Pradesh, to seek solar and wind options to meet incremental demand growth.

“The Khurja proposal relies on a prohibitively expensive 900-km-long rail haul to bring coal to the plant. Additionally, the market price of coal continues to increase globally,” he said.

“Our analysis shows any power generated at the Khurja plant would likely be sold for Rs 5.67 per kilowatt hours, while renewable energy prices today are only plus or minus Rs 3 per kilowatt hours.

“The economics of the project look dim. The Khurja proposal must be re-evaluated,” Buckley said.

Kashish Shah, IEEFA Energy Research Associate and co-author of the report, said India’s ambition to sustain double digit economic growth hinges on improving energy security and reducing the cost of power and that requires sensible investment.

“India is aiming to achieve 40 per cent of its electricity generation needs by 2030 from non-fossil fuel sources including wind and solar. As a coal-fired power station takes significant time to ramp up power generation, the Khurja power station cannot help with grid stabilisation and peak demands, one of the new requirements of the Paris commitments,” Shah told IANS.

“As the share of renewable energy options increase, India will need additional firming capacity and wider national grid inter-connectivity to integrate increasing amounts of variable solar and wind generation, and prevent frequency and voltage fluctuations that adversely affect grid stability.

“The long delayed, excessively expensive and redundant Khurja project should be cancelled before it becomes another expensive stranded asset in India,” he added.



EVM Hacking: BJP leader Reddy Rubbishes Murder Allegation Against Him



New Delhi, Jan 22: Telangana BJP leader and former MLA G Kishan Reddy denied the murder allegations levelled against him by a man identified as Syed Shuja.

“A man named Syed Shuja made allegations against me in London yesterday, in front of Congress party’s Kapil Sibal, that my friends and I killed 11 people in Hyderabad. It was your government then. Your officers were working at that time, how could I kill 11 ppl over tampering issue?,” Reddy said.

Reddy demanded a high-level inquiry after Syed Shuja, a self-proclaimed cyber expert based in the US,has alleged that Reddy and his men killed 11 people in Hyderabad.

” I don’t have a criminal record and I demand high-level inquiry.If I could tamper with EVM I would have been Telangana CM. How did Congress win MP, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan if EVMs were tampered with?Congress leaders committed murders in Telangana and Andhra,I’m not like them,” Reddy said..

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BJP Targets Congress Over London Presser on EVM tampering



New Delhi, Jan 22 : A day after a cyber expert levelled various charges against the BJP, including the allegation that the 2014 general elections were rigged and senior BJP leader Gopinath Munde was “murdered” before he could expose it,Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Tuesday questioned the presence of senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal at the ‘EVM Hackathon’ event in London where Suja made the sensational claims.

“Congress’ false agenda is an insult to the Indian voters. In what capacity was senior Congress leader present at the EVM hackathon event? He went there to monitor it on behalf of Congress,” Prasad said in New Delhi. “Is the Congress-sponsored event designed to defame the popular mandate of India?”

Prasad also said that the Congress has a habit of “attacking” a constitutional institution like the Election Commission of India. “EVMs have been in operation since 20 years,” Prasad said, adding that by generating the controversy, the Congress was trying to find an excuse for its “impending defeat” in 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

At the hackathon’s press conference in London,Syed Shuja, a self-proclaimed cyber expert based in the US, had made sensational allegations that the BJP had jacked the EVMs in 2014 without offering a shred of evidence.

“This was a Congress-sponsored London press conference. Is the Congress-sponsored event designed to defame the popular mandate of 2014? Is it meant to insult the nation’s voters,” Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad questioned.

Raising questions about the expert’s credentials, Prasad said, “I have been IT minister for four-and-a-half years, I have never heard of him. This man comes from the US, face covered. Don’t understand this drama. Such colossal nonsense.”

Shuja’s claims on Gopinath Munde being killed because he knew of the 2014 “rigging”, the minister said: “He (Gopinath Munde) is not here to respond. He died in an accident in Delhi. Sudhir Gupta, an AIIMS doctor, has said he did the post-mortem and Munde died of a neck injury. How can they call it murder?”

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Enterprises must be prepared for mega cyber attacks: Check Point CEO



global cyber-attack

Bangkok, Jan 22 : The world is on the brink of facing mega cyber attacks and the enterprises need to be prepared more than ever before, a top executive of Israel-based cybersecurity solution provider Check Point Software Technologies said here on Tuesday.

“Large-scale and fast-moving across mobile, Cloud and on premise networks, 5th Generation cyber attacks have increased over the past year, impacting more companies than ever before,” Gil Shwed, Check Point Founder and CEO, said in his keynote address during the company’s annual event here.

Cyber attacks and data fraud or theft were listed in the top five of the World Economic Forum’s 14th edition of “Global Risks Report 2019”.

“This is indicative of the fact that how much cyber risks have intensified, particularly in 2017 — both in their prevalence and disruptive potential,” noted Shwed.

According to him, most companies focus particularly on detecting the fraud. By the time a cyber attack is detected, which, according to the industry standard, is 5-6 months, the damage is already done.

“A good malware can breach critical data in a matter of minutes and shut down the networks in seconds. The need is to be future-ready and protect before the advent of such an event,” Shwed emphasised.

Most enterprises today are generally protected for only Gen 2 and Gen 3 viruses.

“They need to close the security ‘generation gap’ by deploying infrastructures which combine real-time threat prevention, shared intelligence and the most-advanced security across all enterprise environments.

Shwed also unveiled “Maestro”, an industry-first hyperscale network security solution.

“Maestro” is a new architecture that enables businesses of any size enjoy the power of flexible Cloud-level security platforms and seamlessly expand their existing security gateways to hyperscale capacity.

Shwed also introduced “Nano Security” — Gen VI of cyber security which can be embedded on every device, web or Cloud service, applications and network, to protect the hyper-connected, hyperscale world.

The three-day “CPX360” event is aimed at addressing most-pressing cyber security challenges and helping organisations of all sizes develop strategies to prevent cyber threats and sophisticated hackers impacting their business.

(Rachel V. Thomas is in Bangkok at the invitation of Check Point Software Technologies. She can be contacted at [email protected])

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