Monday, December 12, 2011

Proper energy mix only can lead to energy independence

PodUniversal Edition 144
In the recent weeks, the protesters of Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project have been demanding the closure of all nuclear projects in India and to generate power through other resources. In order to understand the feasibility and suitability for Indian conditions, we had a discussion with Mr V Ponraj, Advisor to former Indian President Dr A P J Abdul Kalam.  Mr Ponraj, along with Dr Kalam has visited all the Nuclear Power Stations in India and few of the major Reactors in other countries.  Mr Ponraj has been assisting Dr Abdul Kalam now, to prepare the vision documents.  We have also earlier published the 39 page report of Dr Abdul Kalam on the Indian energy status and the safety of Kudankulam projects in our Tamil blog.  
Present energy status in India
Presently India is generating around 1.50 lakh MW of Power from different sources.   Out of this, 89% of electricity is generated out of natural resources like coal (56%), water (25%), wind (5%), Solar (0.2%) and nuclear (3%).  The balance of 11% power is generated out of gas and oil.  
Future requirement
As per Goldman Sachas Report, BRIC Nations (Brazil, Russia, India and China) may contribute to 49% of the world economy by 2020 from the present level of 36%.  India is growing at a rate of 9 to 10% per annum.  This development will increase the need for more electricity.  At this rate, by 2020, India may need around 4.00 lakh MW of power and by 2030, we may need 9.50 MW of power.  
Environment pollution through power generation
Presently, every year, the entire world is generating 30 billion tons of 'Greenhouse Gas', which pollutes the environment.  Of this nearly 26% is generated through electricity generation, as per IPCC report.  Such environment pollution leads to global warming and change of climate. 
Annually around 20 lakh people die in the world due to environment pollution and 1.40 lakh die due to climate changes.  This includes the death of around 5.50 lakh people annually due to the environment pollution caused by power generation. 
Green Energy
Now world over, all the countries are fighting against global warming spending more than 300 billion dollars  to protect the environment.  To the extent possible, they want to avoid power generation using the fuel like coal, gas, oil which may pollute the environment.  Even availability coal may not last long.  Hence, the concept of 'Green Energy' has become popular.  'Green energy'  means, producing electricity using the resources which may not cause pollution.  Only solar, wind and nuclear and bio-fuel  sources can generate green energy.  
Need for energy mix to achieve energy independence.
If a country can produce the electricity fully to their needs from various sources, then it is called 'energy security'.  If the same electricity is generated out of wind, solar, nuclear and bio-fuel, then it is called 'energy independence'.  We need to move from 'energy security' to 'energy independence'.  This is possible only through 'Green energy'. 
Generation of electricity in a country depends on (1) availability of resources like wind, solar, water, coal, uranium,  etc. (2) accessibility to such resources and (3) cost effective technology availability to generate electricity.  
No country can depend on a single source for generation of power for different reasons. It varies from countries to countries.  We may have plenty of resources, but technology may not be available or accessibility to such sources will not be there.  Hence, they need to tap different sources.  Hence, proper 'energy mix' is needed to be planned, basing on the above three factors and also the cost aspect.  
Efficiency of different sources
Presently solar cells have efficiency of 20% and researches are going on to increase the efficiency to 30 to 40%.  This model needs around 10 to 12 crores per MW.
Presently, the efficiency factor for wind energy is around 30% and cost is around 7 to 8 crores per MW.
Currently, the efficiency level for good coal is around 58% and involves the cost aspect of 4 to 5 crores per MW.  
The only energy source which is 100% efficient is the nuclear energy.  This involves the cost of around 6 to 7 crores per MW.
Generally, as said earlier, wind, solar, nuclear and bio-fuel are the cleanest energy sources to produce 'Green energy'.
At this present level, India can generate additionally 80,000 MW through coal, 50,000 MW through water, 55,000 MW through solar sources, 60,000 MW through wind and 50,000 MW through nuclear sources by 2030.  
Kalam-NSS Space Solar energy initiative.
While solar energy is available in the land only for 12 hours, the same energy is available all the time in the space.  This is called 'space solar energy;.  Dr Abdul Kalam has been working on this to generate electricity from space solar, which can benefit the entire world.  For this purposes, National Space Society has set up an research initiative in the name of 'Kalam-NSS Space Solar energy initiative' to research on this.  This is a long term project.  Their aim is to bring energy independence by 2030 by producing only clean/green energy.  
Podcast of Mr V Ponraj
In this context, we had a discussion with Mr V Ponraj, Advisor to Dr APJ Abdul Kalam.  Please watch/listen to his interesting conversation. (10 minutes).
This can also be watched from the following link.


  1. Thats more info then i knew before. You got me in to wanting to look more up on this kind of things


Please give your feedback. You may also send
your comments to

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...