It’s the very first time when I am writing a blog & it is on such a critical issue which comes to our mind every time when there is a power cut & it goes off as quickly as the power comes back so the point I am trying to make here is that it surely is a matter of concern for all of us but what do we do? Nothing, for sure!!
Undoubtedly, there is a Immense need of Power & we are clearly aware of that fact.
Before I start, I want that we should all sit, give it a thought & realize that if we don’t do anything about this then we are going to suffer from “too little, too late” in near time so instead of blaming & criticizing others we should do something to improve this condition. we can at least try & do our bit as it is for our own benefit also.
This blog doesn’t only talks about Issues related to Power & its effects in our lives but Being an engineering student, I have also tried to analyze the situation in India & suggested few things which can probably help us to come out of the situation which is leading to scarcity of Electricity & also to take few initiatives to save energy for us & for our future generations.A power outage (also power cut, blackout, or power failure) is a short- or long-term loss of the electric power to an area.
There are many causes of power failures in an electricity network. Examples of these causes include faults at power stations, damage to electric transmission lines, substations or other parts of the distribution system, a short circuit, or the overloading of electricity mains.
Power failures are particularly critical at sites where the environment and public safety are at risk. Institutions such as hospitals, sewage treatment plants, mines, and the like will usually have backup power sources such as standby generators, which will automatically start up when electrical power is lost. Other critical systems, such as telecommunications, are also required to have emergency power. Telephone exchange rooms usually have arrays of lead-acid batteries for backup and also a socket for connecting a generator during extended periods of outage.
According to a Reuters article 40% of India’s population, which is approximately 500 million people, are without energy. Those with access to electricity cannot count on having it 24 hours a day, reported the NY Times. Furthermore, according to Reuters, “India, which has a total installed power generation capacity of 164 giga watts (GW), however it has managed to raise it to 187 GW in the end of March 2012. Even this target is modest, given a 12 percent peak-hour power shortfall that crimps the country's near 9 percent economic growth.” Therefore, the rush to make up for the shortfall of energy, namely through nuclear energy, is at the forefront of the Indian’s government agenda. The Japanese nuclear crisis, however, is halting such a process.
A study by the South Asia Program at CSIS highlights that India’s nuclear energy goals are “ambitious, especially in an industry that has generally run behind the government’s planning targets." It further points out that, “a significant increase in nuclear power is a long-term, not a short-term, option.” The study goes on to point to a number of energy options available to India:
Clean Coal: Coal is the main source of energy in India, most of which is abundant domestically and inexpensive. Coal which is not clean has “severe health, environmental and economic effects,” however, clean coal offers a “clean” solution. Whereas in case of nuclear energy, clean coal is a long-term alternative as it “will take decades” to develop technologies and “billions of dollars to develop” and “therefore should not be seen as an immediate and reliable solution.” It is however, “a sector worth investment and research.”
Sun and Wind: “A resource with greater potential in the short-term is solar energy. India is endowed with abundant sunlight and solar radiation.” “Potential amount of energy to be reaped is staggering – an estimated 13,000 MW based on existing infrastructure alone.” The Indian government in 2009 launched its “National Solar Mission” which has a nine year plan. “Even if the plan does not fully adhere to this timetable, increased solar energy should be an important addition to India’s total energy output.” Wind is another low cost short-term goal option. India’s current wind industry produces 5,240 MW and “recently overtook Denmark to become the fourth-largest wind energy market in the world.”
Natural Gas: “India’s use of natural gas is growing faster than its use of other fossil fuels, at an average of almost 10 percent per year over the past six years. India imports small amounts of natural gas, which makes up 9 percent of its commercial energy.” India recently found a gas field in the Krishna-Godavari basin which would “double the enter annual gas production of India’s Oil and Natural Gas Corporation.” “In the medium term, expanding the use of natural gas is a good solution to coal usage.”The study also points out that the key to expanding India’s energy production is through investing in efficiency. Currently, “as much as 30 to 50 percent of the electricity generated in India may be lost along the delivery chain. Better maintenance and modernizing of cooling systems could significantly reduce the amount of energy needed to generate power.”
As the anniversary of Chernobyl approaches, coupled with the continuing Japanese nuclear disaster, the Indian negative reaction to nuclear energy is unlikely to settle. While, a large amount of focus has been put on nuclear energy being the answer to India’s energy shortage, its effects will only be seen in the long-term and other forms of energy cannot be ignored, especially those which offer viable solutions for the short-term.
By Vikas Choudhary, Roll No. 51