Tuesday, October 29, 2013

ENERGY SECURITY OPTIONS: A TALE OF NUCLEAR AND SOLAR POWER, THE TWO MAIN CONTENDING TECHNOLOGIES

Ever since the reality of finite quantum of all fuels fossil as well as non fossil ones has dawned on mankind, energy security has acquired utmost importance for all nations, developed and underdeveloped alike. The use of fossil fuels for majority of global energy needs has pushed mankind into the extremely serious problems of global warming and pollution related health hazards as a result of associated carbon gases and radioactivity which if not attended to on a war footing can endanger the very existence of mankind.
In the race for energy security options of the 21st century under the headings of clean infinite energy sources, following contenders emerge namely, the solar energy, wind energy, tidal energy and hydro energy. And surprisingly they all owe their existence and availability to sun and sun alone which is in fact the mother of all these energies. Choosing the most appropriate energy option for a nation must be on the basis of the following.

  • First and foremost, the option must be free of pollution of carbon gases and radioactive pollution. The whole story and myth of nuclear energy being a pollution free energy stands busted in nuclear power at what cost.
  • The source should be eternal so that science and technology has to work only on the improvements instead of fishing for new sources with passage of time.
  • The option should be suitable for all applications, standalone, mini, micro and large scale and that too without any bearing on cost aspects of installation and power production.
  • The option should have quick response capability and small gestation periods.
  • The option should be simple and for best results should be realizable by keeping it simple.
  • Maintenance costs should be low. 
  • Not prone to catastrophic accidents  under any known or unknown circumstances.
The whole world has been debating on all available sources and out of nuclear and solar, the two main contending technologies, nuclear fails on all counts and it is solar that stands out. In spite of these bare facts, it is strange that our globe still has touts of nuclear power plants. The strong and viable case of solar as the best energy security option available to mankind does not need knowledge of rocket science but asks for an iota of common sense on the part of one and all controlling the fate of our planet.