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…..PROJECT ON ENERGY CRISIS…..

INTRODUCTION TO ENERGY CRISIS

Imagine this scenario: One morning you wake up, yawn, scratch
yourself, and sit up. Wearily, you stumble out of bed. You go to your
refrigerator for a glass of milk only to discover that the light inside does
not turn on and everything inside it has been sitting at room
temperature overnight and is quickly beginning to spoil. "That's funny,
"you think to yourself. When you try to brew a cup of coffee the coffee
maker does not seem to want to start. Your gas stove won't turn on, so
it looks like there'll be no bacon and eggs this morning. As you sit down
with your bowl of dry cereal, you glance out the window and wonder
why there is no newspaper. You pick up your cordless phone to call the
newspaper and complain, but it doesn't turn on either. You begin to
panic and you run out to the car. It won't start. "What's going on?" you
think to yourself. "Why doesn't anything work?"
Does this sound like the beginning to some strange science fiction
novel? Well, the scenario we just illustrated could be very real indeed.
Together, fossil fuels (coal, petroleum, natural gas, and their
derivatives) provide more than 85% of the energy used by mankind
today. Unfortunately, the reserves of those fuels are not infinite.
Scientists predict that within the next two centuries we will run out of
those valuable energy sources. This is you experience energy crisis.
Clearly, something must be done. But what?
Before the Industrial Revolution of the 1890s, human beings had only a
moderate need for energy. Man mostly relied on the energy from brute
animal strength to do work. Man first learn to control fire around 1
million BC. Man has used fire to cook food and to warm his shelters ever
since. Fire also served as protection against animals. Thousands of
years ago, human beings also learned how to use wind as an energy
source. Wind is produced by an uneven heating by the sun on the
surface of the earth because of the different specific heats of land and
water. Hot air has lower pressure than cold air and since high pressure
tries to equalize with low pressure the current called wind is produced.
Around 1200 BC, in Polynesia, people learned to use this wind energy as
a propulsive force for their boats by using a sail. About 5 thousand
years ago, magnetic energy was discovered in China. Magnetic force
pulled iron objects and it also provided useful information to navigators
since it always pointed North because of the Earth's magnetic field.
Electric energy was discovered by a Greek philosopher named Thales,
about 2500 years ago. Thales found that, when rubbing fur against a
piece of amber, a static force that would attract dust and other particles
to the amber was produced which now we know as the "electrostatic
force". Around 1000 BC, the Chinese found coal and started using it as a
fuel.
An energy crisis is any great shortfall (or price rise) in the supply of
energy resources to an economy. It usually refers to the shortage of oil
and additionally to electricity or other natural resources.

The crisis often has effects on the rest of the economy, with many
recessions being caused by an energy crisis in some form. In particular,
the production costs of electricity rise, which raises manufacturing costs.

For the consumer, the price of gasoline (petrol) and diesel for cars and
other vehicles rises, leading to reduced consumer confidence and
spending, higher transportation costs and general price rising.

Webster defines crisis as a “decisive moment “or “turning point”. We are


now at an extremely critical stage of using energy beyond a practical
limit. We have increased our usage enormously, especially oil, in the
past decade. The consequence is we are quickly exhausting our finite
supplies of oil and natural gas. As a result, we are becoming more
dependent on foreign sources of oil to keep our country functioning. In
1977 the United States with only 6 percent of the world’s population
consumed approximately 30 percent of the energy produced in the
world. These statistics are startling reminders of our insatiable energy
appetite. Some people may ask “do we have an energy crisis”. The
answer is a definite yes. Our next step is to realize we are at a crucial
time if we are to reverse our terrible trip towards energy starvation. We
will have to recognize our mounting trouble and act decisively to stem
the tide.

About 60% of all the energy used in the world today comes from
burning oil and natural gas. Despite massive exploration program, very
few large outfields have been found in recent years. This could well
mean that most of the world's oil has been already discovered, and that,
in the future oil can be run out faster than anticipated. Today, the world
is producing enough oil to meet its present needs. If only we could use
oil at its present rate then world's reverse could last for over 100 years.
Unfortunately world's energy demand has been growing steadily over
the past 50 years, and most experts believe that this trend will
continue. No one can exactly tell that how much the energy will cost in
the future and no one can exactly tell that how much the energy will
needed in the future. The problem about the world's future energy
supplies is called the world’s energy crisis.
TYPES OF ENERGY CRISIS

1. NUCLEAR POWER

Even in the heady days of the 1950s, problems with nuclear power were
beginning to arise. For one, early nuclear technologies were developed
in a sort of hothouse that was insulated from commercial realities. When
these technologies were transferred to civilian power sectors, they could
not compete economically with conventional power sources. However,
the equipment manufacturers and utilities believed that additional
experience would bring decreases in cost.
One of the main sources of opposition to nuclear power was based on
the assumption that it was inherently unsafe. Many engineers argued
that the plants were safe, and that built-in safety features could prevent
and had prevented accidents. The possibility of accidents caused mainly
by operator errors had been repeatedly. The immediate result was long
lines at gas pumps, high heating bills, and a worldwide economic
downturn.
Many power utilities had acted in the postwar period as Promoters of
increased electric usage among consumers, through publicity campaigns
and the direct sale of electric appliances.
2. HYDROELECTRIC POWER

Man has utilized the power of water for years. Much of the growth of
early colonial American industry can be attributed to hydropower.
Because fuel such as coal and wood were not readily available to inland
cities, American settlers were forced to turn to other alternatives. Falling
water was ideal for powering sawmills and grist mills.
As coal became a better-developed source of fuel, however, the
importance of hydropower decreased. When canals began to be built off
of the Mississippi River, inland cities became linked to mainstream
commerce. This opened the flow of coal to most areas of America,
dealing the final blow to hydropower in early America.
Water power really didn't stage a major comeback until the 20th
century. The development of an electric generator helped increase
hydropower's importance. In the mid-20th century, as Americans began
to move out of the cities and into "suburbia," the demand for electricity
increased, as did the role of hydroelectricity. Hydroelectric power plants
were built near large cities to supplement power production.
The problems included frequent floods, erosion, and deforestation. The
TVA provided for the building of several hydroelectric dams. Not only
were the dams successful in controlling the flooding, they also provide
electricity to the region. The TVA is an example of successful
implementation of hydroelectric power.
3. FUEL CELLS
The fuel cell is one example of a government-sponsored technology
which has, after several decades of research and development effort,
produced a viable technology. The fuel cell is a chemical method of
producing electricity, somewhat analogous to an ordinary battery. The
difference is that the fuel cell must be continuously supplied with
chemical reagents in order to function. It does not hold a charge like a
battery. The fuel cell derives current from a chemical reaction using
oxygen from air and hydrogen from a fuel source (usually petroleum,
synthetic fuels derived from coal, or natural gas, but renewable fuels
such as methanol have been tried).

In operation, fuel cells are silent and produce only water and carbon
dioxide as waste products. The electrochemical process used in a fuel
cell was discovered in the early 19th century, although it was not
proposed for commercial purposes until the 1930s. In the 1950s,
Westinghouse Electric developed commercial versions of these devices,
but found only niche markets for them. In the 1960s, fuel cells designed
for NASA provided power for the Apollo spacecraft. Early NASA fuel cells
supplied by General Electric Company used an unusual electrolyte
composed of a polymer material in the form of a membrane. The
resulting fuel cells were quite expensive. By the 1990s, fuel cells using
less expensive materials and solid fuels were available and put into
operation experimentally as part of utility company power networks.
Unfortunately, the U.S. Department of Energy has had difficulty
transferring the financial responsibility for commercializing this
technology to the private sector. Additionally, many utilities remain
unconvinced that fuel cells represent an economical alternative to other
medium-scale power sources, especially gas turbines leading to energy
crisis.

4. SOLAR POWER

The history of solar energy conversion is another example of a


technology that is inextricably linked to government policy and financial
support. While solar cells were developed by the 1950s which could
generate enough electricity directly from sunlight to operate electronic
circuits, the amount of current was small and the price was high.
Nonetheless, solar cells found niche applications by the 1960s. The most
famous application was in space: from the 1960s on, many satellites
were powered by solar cells.
A second important application was developed by telephone companies
to operate remote repeaters and other equipment. Solar cells remained
inefficient and expensive compared to other methods, and were suitable
only where no other energy source could be used or where cost was not
a major consideration.
Solar power for utility applications was given a temporary boost through
the government funding of applied research on solar cells and the
construction of experimental solar stations. Not all of these solar
stations used solar cells; several large systems used computer-
controlled, movable mirrors to focus light on a boiler, which produced
steam to drive a turbine. However, these large-scale plants remained
experimental, and funding eventually dried up.

5. WIND POWER

By far the most successful alternative energy technology has been the
exploitation of wind. This form of small- to medium-scale generation
was repeatedly passed over by American utility companies before the
1970s because it was considered unreliable and unsuitable for large
scale exploitation. But in time, due to changes both in the technology
and in the business environment, wind power became a part of
established electrical networks.
The use of wind energy to serve various industrial purposes is quite old,
dating at least to the 12th century. Unlike other power sources such as
water or steam, wind power was for the most part left behind in the late
19th century by electric companies looking for ways to drive generators.
It was seen as unreliable and unavailable in sufficient quantities to
power larger machines. The energy crisis of the early 1970s revived
interest in wind-powered electric generation, and a number of European
firms quickly moved to the forefront in providing updated versions of
this ancient technology. Early emphasis in America was on the
development of multi-megawatt wind turbines, although such designs
did not see much commercial success.
The turning point for alternative energy utilization in the United States,
including wind power technology, was national legislation which in 1978
forced utilities to purchase the power generated by independent
producers. This act, called the Public Utilities Regulatory Policies Act
(PURPA), was intended to advance deregulation in the industry, but also
to encourage experimentation with new energy technologies.
Others:
• Biomass
• Geothermal
• Fusion

6. OIL CRISIS

The world at large and India in particular have moved towards a serious
energy crisis in the 1980s .Of occurs this crisis first cropped up the 70s
when the open countries suddenly raised the priories of oil .The oil price
like was coupled with the inefficient supply of conventional flues and the
rapid rise in the demand of energy. While the demand of energy has
significantly increased due to rapid industrialization urbanization
transportation and communication development modernization of
agriculture and due to heavy population pressure; the supply position
has deteriorated owing to heavy depletion of fissile fuel reserves and to
technological inefficiencies associated with exportation of those
reserves. Hence now we find and unabridged gap between demand and
of conventional fuel, which is in, turn worsening the energy crisis.
Though there is turn stability in the oil market at the moment it is
deceptive.
World Crude Oil Prices
$ Per barrel
◊September ’90 39.00
10.00◊November ’98
34.13◊March ’00
◊December ’02 27.86
48.00◊July ’04
55.57◊October ’04
42.55◊January ’05
June 52.48◊
60.70◊July
67.00◊August
61.68◊March 1st ‘06
◊10th 60.73
66.57◊31
67.19◊April 3rd
70.00◊17th
◊May 3rd 74.99
7. THE DEVELOPMENT OF ALTERNATIVE ENERGY SOURCES

Nuclear power remained the only widely utilized, radically new


generating technology from 1945 through the 1960s, but many other
new sources of electricity waited in the wings. The Cold War and the
resulting peacetime buildup of military might indirectly spawned not
only nuclear energy, but also all sorts of energy-related research
projects. Especially important in the long term were smaller-scale
generating technologies, such as the solar panels used to provide power
to satellites and other small pieces of electronic equipment. But it was
the oil crisis that brought several formerly military or space-related
energy technologies into the public light and made energy research part
of the agenda of national governments worldwide.
The year 1973, which saw a dramatic but short-lived jump in oil prices,
marked a real turning point for electric power technologies.
Many power utilities had acted in the postwar period as promoters of
increased electric usage among consumers, through publicity campaigns
and the direct sale of electric appliances.
On the production side, there were widespread calls for greater
efficiency and the development of new fuel sources, including a return
to coal, which had fallen out of favor as a boiler fuel by 1945.
Similarly, some industries began burning waste products (such as wood
chips in paper manufacturing) to generate electricity locally.
The fuel, environmental, and regulatory crises that power utilities
countries experienced were not without their counterparts in other
nations. In Russia and China, for example, fluctuations in fuel prices and
the world economy drastically affected electrification programs. Where
nuclear power seemed to be a key to future power production, it soon
became evident that economical operation of nuclear plants remained
problematical. Developing countries experienced economy wide setbacks
during the oil crises, which retarded the growth of electric power
industries.
Western governments in the 1970s began pouring money into research
and development efforts aimed at improving alternative energy sources
and ending dependency on foreign oil. These programs experienced
periodic cutbacks, and some were failures, but several resulted in
technologies which are now widely used.
Another interesting proposal was the use of storage batteries to “bottle”
excess electricity generated during off-peak hours for use during periods
of heavier load. Late 19th century dc power systems in the United
States and Europe had sometimes used storage batteries for such
purposes, but this system did not work with ac power. Battery storage
survived in specialized applications, however. Telephone systems use
battery storage to provide an extremely reliable source of energy to run
telecommunications networks worldwide. The improvement of electronic
ac-dc converters after 1945 revived interest in storage batteries, and
one line of inquiry investigated the use of a new type of lithium-sulfur
cell for this purpose.
HOW WE GOT WHERE WE ARE TODAY?

In the aftermath of the 1973 and 1979 energy crises, which were
arguably precipitated by international political actions that upset time-
honored economic relationships, oil prices trended downward in real
terms, and the public was lulled into complacency. Sure, they had to
pay more for a gallon of gasoline, but at least they could obtain it
readily without waiting in the lines seen during the crises.

Producers of natural gas began to explore for gas in newer areas, often
at higher cost than production in more traditional areas.
Simultaneously, new technologies for the use of gas improved the
efficiency of gas use. Environmental concerns increased interest in the
use of gas, based on that fuel's "clean" image and its largely invisible
delivery system.

As gas became more popular and gas utilization became more efficient
economically, electric utilities turned increasingly to gas as a fuel for
power generation. New, highly efficient gas turbines were developed by
major turbine manufacturers, and gas increased its penetration of the
power generation market steadily.

In the winter of 2000-2001, a number of factors have come together to


magnify the problems facing the energy industries. Among these are a
rapid increase in demand for energy commodities, a not-so-rapid
increase in production of energy from new sources (given the lead times
needed to develop new production), a rapid rise in the price of natural
gas and petroleum (and a coming rapid escalation of residential
consumer bills), a rapid and continuing increase in the popularity of new
gas-fired electric power generating facilities, and a rapid proliferation of
environmental rules affecting the use of some energy commodities and
the relative importance of others.

This combination of ingredients sets the stage for the next energy crisis.
This winter has already seen critical shortages of electric power,
followed by the first-ever Federal intervention to essentially force
utilities to continue supplying energy even if they lose money by doing
so. The Golden State's three major electric utilities have moved close to
the edge of bankruptcy, caught between extraordinarily high costs and
slow reaction by state regulators to the incipient crisis.

Meanwhile, the costs of natural gas on the spot market have risen to
record levels, just as more electric generators, both traditional utilities
and newer independent power producers, turn increasingly to gas as a
generating fuel.
CAUSES OF HISTORICAL CRISES

1973 oil crisis


Cause: an OPEC oil export embargo by many of the major Arab oil-
producing states, in response to western support of Israel during the
Yom Kippur War.

1979 energy crisis


Cause: the Iranian revolution

1990 spike in the price of oil


Cause: the Gulf War

California electricity crisis


Cause: failed deregulation, and business corruption.

UK fuel protest (of 2000)


Cause: Rise in the price of crude oil combined with already high taxation
on road fuel in the UK.
Oil price increases of 2004-2006
Cause: Tight supply margins in the face of increasing demand, partly
from China's demand.

Power shortages
 Cutbacks in conservations.
Cutbacks in renewables.
Power plant outages.

OUR COMMENTS FOR SAVINGS IN ENERGY

These types of energy are constantly being renewed or restored. But


many of the other forms of energy we use in our homes and cars are
not being replenished. Fossil fuels took millions of years to create. They
cannot be made over night. And there are finite or limited amounts of
these non-renewable energy sources. That means they cannot be
renewed or replenished. Once they are gone they cannot be used again.
So, we must all do our part in saving as much energy as we can.
IN HOME:

In the home, energy can be saved by turning off appliances, TVs and
radios that are not being used, watched or listened to. The lights should
be turned off when no one is in the room. By putting insulation in walls
and attics, the amount of energy it takes to heat or cool our homes can
be reduced. Insulating a home is like putting on a sweater or jacket
when we're cold...instead of turning up the heat. The outer layers trap
the heat inside, keeping it nice and warm.

RECYCLING:

To make all of our newspapers, aluminum cans, plastic bottles and other
goods takes lots of energy. Recycling these items -- grinding them up
and reusing the material again -- uses less energy than it takes to make
them from brand new, raw material. So, we must all recycle as much as
we can.

TAKING CARE OF CARS AND TRUCKS:

We can also save energy in our cars and trucks. Make sure the tires are
properly inflated. A car that is tuned up, has clean air and oil filters, and
is running right will use less gasoline. Don't over-load a car. For every
extra 100 pounds, one should cut mileage by one mile per gallon. When
your parents buy a new car, tell them to compare. The fuel efficiency of
different models and buys a car that gets higher miles per gallon.

IN THE COLLEGE:

Energy can be saved in the college. Each week one can choose an
energy monitor who will make sure energy is being used properly. The
energy monitor will turn off the lights during break time and after class.
"Turn It Off" signs should be made for hanging above the light switches
as a reminder.
Energy Patrol can be started in the college. One can make sure whether
their classmates recycle all aluminum cans and plastic bottles, and
make sure the library is recycling the newspapers and the college is
recycling its paper.

POWER GENERATION FACILITIES:

New power generation facilities, principally gas-fired combustion


turbines and combined-cycle units making more efficient use of gas, can
be constructed more quickly than large-scale centralized power plants,
but even they take as long as two years to site, obtain required permits,
and build connecting transmission lines. And that assumes that the state
regulatory commissions involved recognize the need for new
construction and act favorably and expeditiously.

NEW TECHNOLOGIES:

Development of new generation technologies to improve the utilization


of energy has improved, but incrementally, with dramatic new
efficiencies unlikely in the immediate future. The prospects for getting
"more bang for the buck" are good in the long term, but not in the near
term.

By 2020 we could be dependent on imported energy for three-quarters


of our total primary energy needs ... we may become potentially more
vulnerable to price fluctuations and interruptions to supply caused by
regulatory failures, political instability or conflict in other parts of the
world.
SOLUTIONS FOR ENERGY CRISIS:

1. DRILL DOMESTICALLY WHEREVER WE CAN TO PRODUCE MORE OIL

● Firstly, corral the environmentalists, and drill for oil on land we own,
and control, where we KNOW there is oil. (Florida's west coast).
● As to our energy future, while innovation from new technology will
take care of the long-term problem, the short term must be dealt with
by ignoring environmentalists and moving ahead with drilling in Alaska
as well as the various U.S. coasts where it is prohibited.
● There are vast amounts of oil (actually, bitumen, a precursor of oil) in
oil shale in the United States, and new technology (exists) for extracting
it with minimal environmental effects.

2. HYDROGEN: THE FUEL OF THE FUTURE

● Build a national network of hydrogen refueling stations (hydrogen gas


stations). This should be easy. After all, Eisenhower was able to build
the interstate highway system in the 1950s and 60s, which seems like a
much more complex task.
● The plan to see being the best is hydrogen with water being the
exhaust from the vehicles. With the use of solar panels, we can
generate the hydrogen free… well, almost free… but without the need of
oil.
● Some of BMW's new 2008 luxury cars will have the ability to run on
hydrogen. Keep in mind that these are not fuel cells. Rather, these are
conventional internal combustion engines that have been modified to
burn hydrogen or (and this is key) gasoline. Since the hydrogen
infrastructure is very spotty, these vehicles can use gasoline at the flick
of a switch when hydrogen is not available.

3. ETHANOL -- IF THE BRAZILIANS CAN DO IT, WHY CAN'T WE?

● Brazil runs over 50% of its vehicles on ethanol. Ethanol can come
from many sources. The production plants are being built now. (One in
my home state of Georgia is purported to be producing ethanol from
trees)
● Get sugar cane fields growing. Sugar cane requires less fertilizer than
corn and is easier to make ethanol out of.
● Turn lawn grass, America's largest crop, into ethanol.
● There is no reason that ethanol cannot be our primary fuel. A gradual
increase of ethanol/gasoline mixtures at the pump until the standard
fuel is 80%-90% alcohol can be a real possibility within the next 8 to 10
years if someone would actually get it rolling now.

4. BIODIESEL -- PROVEN POWER FROM GARBAGE

● Why not use every bit of waste, i.e., paper sludge; slash piles, veggie
by-products (carrot tops, potato skins, beet peelings, etc.) to make
more fuel?
● Biodiesel can provide a major new energy source. If it is made with
non-food crops, the yield is far higher than with soybeans.
● All we really need is car companies to increase the number of cars
with diesel engines. … The second part of this has to be biodiesel
stations. Biodiesel fuel can easily be made at home, and it can be made
from used vegetable oil. Currently someone who makes their own
biodiesel 40-50 gallons at a time at a cost of $0.69 a gallon.
● Biodiesel -- There is no reason, other than distribution, why every
ship, train, semi-truck, tractor, or piece of construction equipment with
a diesel engine should be burning straight (petroleum-based) diesel.

5. SOLAR ENERGY COULD DO THE JOB JUST BY ITSELF

● The United States has thousands of miles of desert and plains that
receive enormous amounts of sunlight every day, often even in winter.
It has been said that approximately 100 square miles of solar panels or
a modest multiple thereof (5-10X) could generate enough electricity to
accommodate virtually all of the electric energy needs to the country.
● In Las Vegas the amount of solar energy there is amazing. We could
make it mandatory that all new houses have solar roof tiles instead of
regular tiles and give tax credits if people replace their tiles with solar
tiles on their existing homes.
● Solar panels in the southern states, especially Florida and the like,
could easily be used to run all the electricity a house needs.
Furthermore, having lived in Florida, it's so sunny that the excess
electricity could either be sold back to the electric companies or the
solar package could come with a power supply to use in charging an
electric-powered vehicle.
6. LETTING IN THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF SUN

In a cold climate we welcome the sun's heat and light most of the time.
And once we capture the heat, we don't want to give it up. In a warm
climate, we don't want the heat, but we do want the light. Advances in
window technology let us have it both ways.
Less than half of the sun's energy is visible. Longer wavelengths--
beyond the red part of the visible spectrum--are infrared, which is felt
as heat. Shorter wavelengths, beyond purple, are ultraviolet (UV). When
the sun's energy strikes a window, visible light, heat and UV are either
reflected, absorbed or transmitted into the building.

7. DEVELOP WIND, SOLAR ENERGY TO MEET POWER CRISIS

Alternative sources like wind and solar energy need to be developed to


tide over the power crisis in rural India. To meet the power crisis of
rural India, there is a desperate need to develop wind and solar energy
for power generation. Commenting on the sick Public Sector Units,
Centre had planned to make 25 sick units "economically viable" by
bailing them out of crisis this fiscal.
We have seen improvements after these units to increase their
profitability or they would be shut down just the way we had closed two
sick units in the recent past.

8. AS A WHOLE, ENERGY CRISIS

Conservation is not the total Answer, but it would certainly improve our
situation. This would have to be a conservation program that would
encompass all of our consumers. The initial step would be less driving
and more use of mass transportation system. In some parts of the
country it would mean adding more buses and trains, in other parts, it
would be modernizing the existing systems. Also it would include an
educational program for the energy consumers to make them aware of
how they can save energy daily. This has already begun and hopefully it
will continue.

In addition, the new car manufacturers will have to increase the fuel
efficiency of all cars. Another solution will concern the industrial sector
of our economy, to continue their cutbacks and their fuel efficiency
programs without seriously affecting their production.
LONG TERM / FUTURE SOLUTIONS:

India needs approximately 100000MW of additional power by 2010 if it


is to embark on a high growth trajectory and emerge as an economic
giant by 2020.However, most projections state that at the current rate
of capacity addition we will fall well short of achieving this target.
To address this problem, it helps in understanding the issues involved,
there are primarily three of them they are:
1. Finance
2. Technology
3. Structure of the power grid

FINANCE:
As there is a glut of capital in the international markets to the tune of
around USD 2 trillion, the power market in India is one of the few areas
in which a part of this can be invested with the prospect of assured
returns for investors (hopefully the government can facilitate this by
giving counter-guarantees) .In addition, we need to move towards a
public-private model where the government provides the grid and
charges the private sector to use it and privatize the distribution and
generation of energy and give them tax breaks or exemptions to pay for
politically desirable (read unprofitable) ventures like subsidized power
for farmers.

TECHNOLOGY:
There are 3 technologies which are uniquely suited to the Indian market

1) GAS BASED POWER GENERATION

Gas based power plants are ideal for India as we have recently
discovered vast gas reserves in the Krishna-Godavari basin and other
locations. In addition, Russia a non-OPEC Country and currently the
world’s second largest oil producer in addition to being a long standing
ally of India currently has about 50% of the world’s proven gas
reserves, thus, shielding us against any unforeseen price fluctuations
like has been seen in the case of oil due to rising tensions in the middle
east.

2) NUCLEAR POWER GENERATION

Nuclear power has a vast potential to fulfill our energy needs. Each
nuclear generator generally produces around 1000MW of power and
doesn’t need to be refueled between 5-10 years (depending on the
design). In addition, it produces no green house gases (one of the
reasons the French are ‘holier than thou’ on the Kyoto treaty is because
they get 75% of their energy needs from nuclear power).
The problem, of course, is the NPT which prevents companies like
France’s Avera or America’s GE to build and/or operate Nuclear power
plants in India.
However, the Ministry of Atomic Energy, Russia has a holding company
MINATOM which is eager not only to build power plants in India (which
it is already doing) but, for a price, is willing to transfer it to BHEL and
others so that we wouldn’t be dependant on anyone for building and
operating our power plants. Now these are water-cooled nuclear power
plants which are as safe as any in the West at a fraction of the price not
the Sodium cooled ones on which Chernobyl was based so we shouldn’t
be unduly worried about unsafe nuclear power in our backyards. As for
the fuel the Russians have some 500 tonnes of U-235 (the byproduct of
the former USSR’s arms buildup) which could be effectively used for
this.

3) HYDROELECTRIC

This is the cheapest source of power but causes massive environmental


problems like soil erosion and takes a long time to build, typically 10
years, without any litigation from the likes of Mrs. Medha Patkar &
Arundhati Roy. However, once a study has conclusively proved the
feasibility of a project if should be brought under an act which makes it
immune to frivolous litigation.

4) STRUCTURE OF THE POWER GRID

We, like, most other nations have a unidirectional power grid i.e. one
way flow of electricity from the supplier to the consumer however in
India most business houses have captive power generation due to the
lack of reliable power, why not further encourage them to ramp up their
captive power production and let them put the surplus for sale on the
power grid? This will lead to reduced prices of power for the enterprise
(economies of scale) and more power to our booming economy.
The most logical today are atomic power by fusion, solar power, reusing
waste, and further development of synthetic fuels.
The atomic fusion power would be a great source if we were able to use
hydrogen from the oceans as its source. There are numerous dangers
that would have to be ironed out. And last, possibly the same Yankee
ingenuity that has made this country flourish could take another step for
mankind and came up with some entirely new and effective source of
energy.
RECENT CASES OF ENERGY CRISIS

1. INDIA FACES MAJOR ENERGY CRISIS DUE TO CRUDE OIL REFINING


CAPACITY AND COMPLIANCE TO ENVIRONMENTAL CLEAN UP
STANDARDS

India faces more problems that just need for reliable energy supply.
Even if the Government is able to acquire rights to Natural gas and
Crude oil supplies all around the world, the problem does not end there.
India faces a major shortage of refining capacity. As a result prices of
diesel, Petrol and Kerosene can go through the roof even if the Crude oil
price moves up slowly.
The refineries all around India are old and mainly acquired from the
Soviet Union many tears back. They need to be replaced soon. They
operate at a much lower capacity die to maintenance needs and cause
bad pollution all around. The refinery owned and operated by Reliance is
the only one in the country that is of world class standard and is
sophisticated. It was operational approximately 22 months back and is
based on most advanced technologies in the world.
The rest of the 18 refineries are in hopeless condition. Some of those
India’s refineries cannot get rid of the high sulphur content to produce
what is internationally known as sweet crude. Many of the refineries
cannot effectively extract Kerosene through the secondary process,
Kerosene is high demand since it lights up many homes sin India.
Seven of these prehistoric 18 refineries can be modernized. But red tape
and lack of operational control is taking the country to the brink of a
major energy crisis.

Raghunath Mashelkar, scientific adviser to the government recently


submitted a report on the status of the refineries to the Government.
India’s 115m-tonne refining capacity needs some major capital
investment, the report clearly mentions about the need of “substantial
capital funding” to upgrade or overhaul processes to meet global
standards on quality petrol and diesel fuels.
India needs US $6.5 Billion to upgrade these refineries to meet the Euro
IV standard of emission by 2010. Stepping up to Euro III emission
standards will also require hardship as required by next April.
According to the New Delhi-based Energy and Resources Institute (Teri),
fiscal incentives are required from the Government to move forward
towards this capital investment.

2. ENERGY CRISIS FORCES INDIA TO FOCUS ON ‘SHIFTING THE


EMPHASIS FROM PERSONAL TRANSPORT TO PUBLIC TRANSPORT’

India has given its go-ahead to Metro Rail projects for Mumbai,
Hyderabad and Bangalore and would provide viability gap funding for
the projects in various states, Union Minister for Urban Development
Jaipal Reddy said on Friday.
The choice of deciding about the nature of gauge to be adopted in the
metro rail projects has been given to state governments, Reddy said.
In his inaugural address at ''Cityscapes 2006'', a meet on Urban
infrastructure reforms with public-private linkages, being organized by
the FICCI, Reddy said metro rail projects in Hyderabad, Mumbai and
Bangalore can take off immediately.
The project proposals were pending; following the stand of Indian
Railways that broad gauge should be adopted for Metro Rail projects,
while many state governments preferred standard gauge.