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RIL discovers more oil at Cambay Basin – Reliance Industries has discovered more oil at an onland site in Gujarat’s Cambay Basin, raising the potential of the exploratory fields it has been drilling. It made its sixth discovery in the 635 sq-km block located in the Cambay basin, about 130 km from Ahmedabad, the company said in a release. Well, it is not clear how much oil has been discovered or what RIL’s estimates of reserves are, so that would be an interesting news item to keep an eye on. I’m more excited about natural gas discoveries than oil discoveries because we are so far away from being oil independent – almost 70% of all our oil needs are imported, while we produce almost 80% of the total natural gas we use. And the recent news item that India has been (at least for the time being) left out of the Iran LNG pipeline while Pakistan has been included ( http://bit.ly/9RCog2 ) only makes me more keen that we become self-reliant in natural gas .

Major banks to provide extra financial support for renewable energy – It was heartening to read that many large Indian banks are keen to participate in the funding for renewable energy projects in India ( http://bit.ly/9bCQMl ). Many companies will be keen on knowing whether these banks will fund the solar PV power plants that they are planning to put up. In principle, I reckon that if the government’s final document makes clear commitments on PPAs with attractive feed-in-tariffs, it will make it easier for the banks to provide such support.

New solar cell technology best suited for India, says inventor – India will stand to significantly gain from a new technology on solar power as it is cheap, green and efficient, says Michael Gratzel, winner of this year’s Millennium Technology Prize that is often called the Nobel for innovation. Michael Grätzel accepted the award for the low-cost, thin film solar cells that often bear his name, and which make possible solar cells to be used in a wide variety of products such as windows and even mobile phones.

Toyota Overwhelmed by Demand for Prius in India – Hmmm…this is interested. I read today ( http://bit.ly/9T4Fn2 ) that Toyota had been taken aback by the number of orders it has received in India for its hybrid car, Prius. The company had expected to sell a meager 12 units per month when it launched the world’s largest selling hybrid car in March this year. However, demand has zoomed to 80 units during the last three months, that is, more than double the company’s initial estimate. At a price of 25 lakhs, the Prius is hardly cheap! So, what does this mean? That India is getting richer, or more eco-friendly, or hopefully, both?

GeoExchange Australia forays into India – I was glad to read that some geothermal business activity is beginning to happen in India, after all. GeoExchange Australia ( http://www.geoexchange.com.au/ ), provider of geo technology based heating and cooling systems has set up their operations in India. The Indian subsidiary, Geo Cooling Technology India, will provide turnkey solutions from concept to implementation of GeoExchange system for Indian clients. GeoExchange takes care of the heating and cooling requirements of commercial complexes, apartments, universities, hospitals and hotels, with the help of geothermal energy within the earth.

Haryana Government Introduces Solar Education Kits In Schools – In a bid to spread awareness among school children about the applications of renewable energy sources, the Haryana government has introduced solar education kits in its senior secondary schools ( http://bit.ly/ankpGk ). The solar education kits consist of a mini fan, LED lamps, solar radio, solar toy car, door bell, house name plate, traffic signal lights, solar pump, solar insolation meter, thermometer, solar panel and cell current display. Neat, isn’t it?