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Friday, September 30, 2011

Shifting “Energy Production” Burden

It is indeed no big secret that energy requirements in India are taking a steep path. There is pressure created from the staggering growth of our country and not to forget the growing population as well. Time is such that it demands a shift of burden of energy production to much cheaper and eco friendlier technology. Although India is the 5th largest producer of wind energy, there is still requirement for further developments. On the other hand scarce resources and carbon emission are adding fuel to the problem of energy production. Greater reliance on renewable technology offers huge socio, economic and environmental benefits. India at no way lacking in potential, here’s a proof of that

Technical potential
Installed capacity
Grid connected

Bio power (agro-residues)
Wind power
Small hydro power (up to 25MW )
Large hydro power (larger than 25MW)
Co generation BAGASSE
Waste to energy
Total grid connected
Distributed generation

Bio-power co generation

Bio mass gasifier

Waste to energy

Solar PV power

Agro generators/hybrid system

Total distributed renewable

Source: WEC 2009, Mercados, 2010.
Shifting trend shows positive signs
Solar- The landscape for solar innovation is wide open in India. If PM is to be quoted “India will develop solar energy as a source of abundant energy to power our economy and to transform the lives of our people”.
Domestic firms such as Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited, Central Electronics Limited, Rajasthan Electronics and Instruments Limited, Moser Baer PV Technologies, Tata BP Solar India, Signet Solar and Astonfield Renewable Resources dominate the solar market in India.
Above example clearly demonstrate Indian innovation progress in energy sector. Such developments are based upon smart policies and their adaptation in production process and distribution. With new players entering the solar energy market it is a huge burden divider. It is estimated that as many as 600 companies are involved in the solar panel market globally, with as many as 60 new companies joining each year since 2000.
Bio fuels- A jatropha project led by Indian Railways could lead to 44,000 jobs for Indian farmer. With 5,000 diesel locomotives consuming over 580 million gallons (2 billion liters) of high-speed diesel annually, they anticipate saving between 29 to 116 million gallons (110 to 440 million liters) depending on the proportion of biodiesel used. The Railways intend to use land they already own along existing tracks, and have identified about 356,000 acres (44,000 hectares) out of a possible 1.5 million acres (190,000 hectares) for use. Estimates on the yields that can be expected from jatropha or karanj cultivation vary from a low of 1 ton of biodiesel per acre to 2.5 tons per acre (0.4 tons to 1 ton per hectare). However, cultivation practices and economies of processing needs to be strengthened before large scale commercialization are possible. 
Nuclear- India presently has 17 nuclear power plants with a total generation capacity of 4,120 MW. These have been operating at much less than potential, it’s not surprising that the World Energy Outlook 2007 estimated India’s generating capacity from nuclear energy would reach only 17,000 MW by 2030. Nuclear policy revision and patenting of innovations is required to cater the demand of energy in future.
Wind- Indian Company Suzlon is the largest wind energy company in Asia and the third largest in the world. Major orders in recent years have included customers like Horizon Wind (400 MW) based in Texas, PPM energy (400 MW) based in Portland, Oregon and Edison Mission Group (630 MW) based in Irvine California. The U.S. accounts for over 50% of suzlon’s global sales.
Such is the market of renewable energy in India is that if Economic Times article is to be believed, it says the market for clean energy in India is growing and such projects are estimated to have attracted private investments of around USD 4 billion in 2010. Foreign investments are a huge tool to strengthen any economy and India is gaining from such investments.
These innovations and trend is a positive sign and will contribute immensely to safeguard our degrading environment, conserving natural resources, providing employment and most importantly bridging the gap between demand and supply of energy, which in turn will lead to reduced prices also.

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