19.06.2017

The Indian print media has discussed the need for finding an amicable solution to the Saudi led spat against Qatar. This can have major implications on the world energy market. Papers have also commented on India’s rising share in renewable energy, which is heartening, as this will usher in ‘clean energy’ and increase its share in the nation’s electricity options. The dailies have paid tributes to the former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, the architect of second reunification of Germany, who passed away recently.
THE PIONEER in an editorial TACKLING QATAR-SAUDI SPAT writes the Saudi Arabia-led Gulf Cooperation Council versus Qatar standoff is showing no signs of easing. This is troubling because of the energy and security implications for the region and the larger world. Perhaps Saudi Arabia believes that by continuing to choke the tiny kingdom, as diplomatic relations have been severed and trade and travel restrictions imposed; it will be able to make Doha bend. On the other hand, Qatar is not entirely without aces up its sleeve, though it has not played them yet. There is a pipeline that links the massive offshore gas reserves in Qatar to Saudi Arabia which supplies gas to Riyadh which is used to power the kingdom. It would be catastrophic for Riyadh, if Qatar were to turn off the tap. For obvious reasons, Doha does not want to take that extreme step. It would be foolish for either party to escalate matters further. Indeed, the need of the hour is to de-escalate. This is of course easier said than done. Though, it has to be done eventually for the larger good. Saudi Arabia and its partners hold Qatar responsible for promoting terror outfits that have Iran’s backing, besides Doha’s supposed support to the Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt.
THE ECONOMIC TIMES in an editorial RENEWABLE ENERGY: BEYOND MERE CAPACITY observes, India’s renewable energy generation capacity is now at a little over 57 GW. In nearly doubling the renewable energy portfolio in three years, the government has shown its commitment to low-carbon development. But much more needs to be done. The target of 175 GW of new renewable energy capacity by 2022 still seems ambitious. India is focused on increasing the share of renewables in the energy basket. Record low tariffs, declining capital costs, swift and transparent auctions and allotment have made this possible. But challenges still persist. The cost of credit remains high, in spite of official attempts to lower the cost. Much more needs to be done to provide storage options and making the grid compatible with higher share of variable power sources like wind and solar. The government is working on these issues as well, increasing investments in the green energy corridor, active engagement in the programme of Mission Innovation and the Clean Energy Ministerial.
THE HINDU in its editorial THE UNIFIER says, the architect of a reunified Germany and a staunch champion of European integration, Helmut Kohl, who died at 87, was the longest-serving German Chancellor since World War II. The steely politician, who lost his bid for a fifth consecutive term as head of his conservative Christian Democratic Union in 1998, went into political wilderness after retirement following a controversy over anonymous donations to his party. Raised in an austere Roman Catholic family, Kohl first came into prominence when he was 39, becoming minister-president of Rhineland-Palatinate in 1969. He emerged as president of the CDU in the early 1970s, and held the position with a firm grip until the end of his political life. Over the decades he mentored the careers of several leaders, including two former presidents and the incumbent Chancellor Angela Merkel in the 1990s. Kohl was catapulted to high office in 1982, when the liberal Free Democratic Party quit the ruling coalition with the Social Democrats to back the CDU. His early years as Chancellor were notable for the efforts to embed Germany in the Western alliance, improve relations with the Soviet Union and promote post-War reconciliation.