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Current Affairs

Estonia’s e-Residency programme

  • Started in 2014, the e-Residency programme offers a government-issued digital identity that provides the applicant access to e-services in Estonia, including the setting up of companies.
  • The e-resident gets a smart card that can be used to sign documents.
  • “India stands at ninth position in terms of countries from which we have e-residents out of 167 countries. China is number 8, a little ahead of India but the difference is small,” Riho Kruuv, Ambassador of the Republic of Estonia.
  • Mukesh Ambani has set up a research centre in Estonia for Reliance Jio.

EU: Pay content creator

  • New European Union copyright rules: Online platforms will be required to compensate publishers and creators for the content that appears on their websites.
  • Google and Facebook will have to pay more money to music producers and publishers for the display of their songs, video and news articles.

Battery swapping technology for small EVs

  • Fortum India, a subsidiary of Finnish clean energy company Fortum Oyj, and Clean Motion, the manufacturer of e-rickshaws, showcased a battery-swapping project for light EVs.
  • The project comprises of 90 NMC batteries of 1.5kWh, one swapping station with 20 batteries and 30 e-rickshaws that have been modified for swapping.
  • The process of swapping and driving, called Change & Drive, takes 2-5 minutes. The battery weighs 13kg.

Saudis Signal Allure of China With $10 billion Refinery Deal

  • Saudi Arabia has shown its interest in the Chinese market with a deal to build a $10 billion refining and petrochemicals complex.
  • Saudi Arabia will supply 70% of the crude oil needed and a 3 lakh barrel a day will be refined.

Power production from Coal

  • By 2038 Germany will stop producing power from coal and will boost the use of natural gas (cleanest fossil fuel) and renewable energy.
  • India needs to leverage coal reserves to adapt proven technologies to increase thermal efficiency in power generation.
  • The new Telangana plant of NTPC, India’s largest power producer, uses ultra-supercritical technology, and our upcoming Chhattisgarh plant is to incorporate advanced ultra-supercritical systems.
  • A conventional sub-critical power plant has a thermal efficiency of barely 30% whereas supercritical and ultra-supercritical plants have efficiency levels of 45% or higher, which means generating 50% more power using the same amount of coal.
  • India is seeking coal gasification technology from the US.
  • India needs to scrap old 210MW and 500MW units and install 800MW units.