Friday, January 4, 2013

INDIA DOES NOT NEED NUCLEAR POWER FOR ENERGY SECURITY


I was more than surprised when the Indian prime minister said, "India needs enlightenment on nuclear power. " Enlightenment at what cost and for what for. First of all it is not understood why a nation so richly bestowed with solar, wind and hydro power potential should look towards nuclear technology, a technology which has to be bought at sellers terms and conditions, a fuel which has to be imported, a power plant which will always be a potential ticking catastrophic bomb and a technology where no solutions have emerged for the dismantling of old plants and disposal of spent fuel, for its energy security. Apart from all this when a holistic view is taken of all the technologies in the race, India will lose a god sent opportunity to fulfill its dream of emerging as a global leader in power engineering and subsequently an economic superpower with in a short period of time if it does not join the race of developing nascent renewal energy technologies and where the nation will be self reliant from the very beginning.

What is required is sincerity and honesty of purpose and doing away with concepts of the classical power engineering i.e. producing electricity in mega and ultra mega power plants and incurring huge costs on transmission infrastructure as well as huge losses during transmission. Standalone applications, micro and mini grids should be the order of the day. Use onsite energy source ie solar and wind and on site consumption of power for may be 90% of the requirements and strengthen energy storage  to tide over the intermittency problem associated with these sources.This should be the way forward for a nation which has to have an additional power capacity of about 0.7 million mega watts in the next decade or so to fulfill the aspirations of its citizens