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Still a Lot to Learn About India’s Deadly Air Pollution

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There is still a lot that scientists don’t know about air pollution, but the severe pollution common in much of India offers scientists an opportunity to better understand its causes and effects. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory researcher Josh Apte is developing some unique approaches to studying air pollution in India and hopes to apply what he learns to developing global strategies for combating it.

Hybrid Vehicles More Fuel Efficient In India, China Than in U.S.

What makes cities in India and China so frustrating to drive in—heavy traffic, aggressive driving style, few freeways—makes them ideal for saving fuel with hybrid vehicles, according to new research by scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. In a pair of studies using real-world driving conditions, they found that hybrid cars are significantly more fuel-efficient in India and China than they are in the United States.

Berkeley Lab to Lead a U.S.-India Clean Energy Research Center

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Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) has been selected to lead a new joint U.S.-India research center focusing on energy efficiency technologies for buildings. It is one of three consortia that will make up the U.S.-India Joint Clean Energy Research and Development Center (JCERDC).

Berkeley Lab Study Shows Significantly Higher Potential for Wind Energy in India than Previously Estimated

More than 95 percent of the wind potential is concentrated in five states in southern and western India.

A new assessment of wind energy in India by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has found that the potential for on-shore wind energy deployment is far higher than the official estimates— about 20 times and up to 30 times greater than the current government estimate of 102 gigawatts. This landmark finding may have significant impact on India’s renewable energy strategy as it attempts to cope with a massive and chronic shortage of electricity.

Berkeley Lab Project in India To Measure Impact of Pollution on Cool Roofs

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With the aid of rooftop instruments, satellite images, an airplane and a balloon, Berkeley Lab scientists are conducting the first-ever study to determine how pollution impacts the efficacy of white roofs in cooling the planet. The yearlong project in northern India will also be the first to take physical measurements to characterize the cooling and climate effects of white roofs.

Berkeley Lab Expands Energy Exchanges With India

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With the Indian economy growing by leaps and bounds yet hampered by regular power shortages and blackouts, Indian electricity regulators are in a tough spot. How to wring more electricity from very limited infrastructure? The answer lies in energy efficiency, and through collaborations with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory India is hoping to learn from California’s successes in implementing energy efficiency and demand-side management to meet energy demand.

Electricity Regulators from India Learn from California

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Three solid days of talks on feed-in tariffs, decoupling and demand-side management may not sound like exciting stuff to most people, but to certain a group of visitors from India, such topics could not be more welcome. This week, a 20-member delegation, including representatives of electricity regulatory commissions of 13 of India’s 28 states, visited Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to learn about California’s leading efforts on energy efficiency and renewable energy.

Berkeley Lab Report: Simple Energy Efficiency Measures Can Eliminate Electricity Shortage in India

Berkeley Lab senior scientist Jayant Sathaye

Electricity in India can be a dicey proposition. Half the population lacks access or is too poor to afford it. The other half is using so much that demand far outstrips supply, resulting in daily power outages. And with a growing middle class buying more TVs, air conditioners and the like, the situation will only get worse. As chaotic as things are, there is a solution: simple energy efficiency measures, according to a new report from Berkeley Lab, can eliminate the electricity deficit as early as 2013.

Black Carbon a Significant Factor in Melting of Himalayan Glaciers

This map of the change in annual linear snow cover from 1990 to 2001 shows a thick band (blue) across the Himalayas with decreases of at least 16 percent while a few smaller patches (red) saw increases. The data was collected by the National Snow and Ice Data Center.

The fact that glaciers in the Himalayan mountains are thinning is not disputed. However, few researchers have attempted to rigorously examine and quantify the causes. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory scientist Surabi Menon and her collaborators found that airborne black carbon aerosols, or soot, from India is a major contributor to the decline in snow and ice cover on the glaciers.

Berkeley Lab Lends Expertise to India to Promote Energy Efficiency

(From Left to Right), Rish Ghatikar, Dale Sartor (Conference presenters from Environmental Energy Technologies Division, LBNL), Mark Ginsberg (Board of Directors – U.S. DOE), Jayant Sathaye (Conference presenter from Environmental Energy Technologies Division, LBNL), Gireesh Pradhan (Additional Secretary, Ministry of Power – Government of India) Tom Cutler (Office of European and Asian Affairs – U.S. DOE), and S. Padmanabhan (Senior Advisor – Energy, USAID)

India may rank only a distant fourth in terms of carbon dioxide emissions, behind China, the United States and Russia, but its rapid economic growth rate coupled with aging and inefficient energy infrastructure suggest dire environmental consequences if “business as usual” continues. That’s why experts from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have been working to expand collaborations with India on energy efficiency.