Saturday, March 7, 2009

NYT Article on Renewable Energy Has Important Lessons for India

I enjoy reading articles on renewable Energy in the mainstream media as I pointed out last night. These are often hard nosed evaluations of the technologies etc that activists try to promote and the result is a balanced one to say the least compared to the sometimes shrill promotions that some blogs come up with. Here, again, I must insist that not all blogs are at fault but the "Obama is God" attitude of some of the more prominent ones makes me, an old skeptic, want to retch.

But this is not about politics - this blog is a look at Renewable Energy from my inexpert understanding of the subject. And that is why this piece from today's New York Times is particularly interesting: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/07/opinion/07bowles.html The author of this opinion piece is the secretary for energy and environmental affairs for the state of Massachussetts. As a state that is home to some of the top technical universities in this country, he has a strong list of sources to draw his information from and a pool of experts to consult in drawing up his conclusions. And a reading of the piece suggests how simple and sophisticated his ideas are - love or hate the Times as you may, this piece is impressive and practical.

Which brings me to its value for a third world nation with a major energy problem like India. India is surrounded by the sea because it is a peninsula. The opportunity here - you can have combined wave and tidal power stations all around the coast. The country is bathed in sunlight. The opportunity - rooftop and large solar thermal powerplant possibilities right across the country. Just imagine the overall potential - there is so much that India has and hardly any of this is being used. Historically, the country was called "Vasundhara" because it was believed that it could provide everything that anyone ever needed. This is why, beginning with Cyrus the Great and the Persians who invaded in the distant past right down to the British, all kinds of people wanted to make India the jewel in their crown. Sadly, today's Indians, and Indian politicians in particular, have no such pride in their own country. If they did, they would tap the abundant energy that the country is blessed with.

2 comments:

Mohanakrishnan B said...

Hello Mehul
As usual an excellent article on a topic close to your heart. People should be glad that individuals like you are out there. I did`nt know that India was once referred to as `Vasundhara`. I hate to dampen your spirits but in todays world, it is petty politics that determine events and I believe it is true in almost all nations in the world. I have posted some information in my blog which is sure to make you depressed. For the benefit of your readers I am enclosing the link. http://mohanakrishnanb.blogspot.com/2009/03/oh-what-waste.html

Mehul Kamdar said...

Mohan,

I think the tragedy is that politicians and bureaucrats - the two verminous species that afflict India - do not care about the country that they claim to serve. And though the people want to live decent lives with a clean environment and in peace, it is politicking that prevents this from happening.

Tragic but a way of life in India . . .