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project on energy crisis -
July 29th, 2006
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.
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
November ’98 10.00
March ’00 34.13
December ’02 27.86
July ’04 48.00
October ’04 55.57
January ’05 42.55
March 1st ‘06 61.68
April 3rd 67.19
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.
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 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.
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.
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:
3. Structure of the power grid
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.
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.
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.