Friday, June 12, 2009

China Throws Down a Renewable Energy Challenge to the World

While it is currently one of the world's most heavily polluted countries and it needs to import over 90% of its oil, China has decided to act in a manner that needs to be applauded: I am grateful to Dr Mayraj Fahim for this link showing where South Asian countries, which enjoy the same climatic conditions and suffer from similarly high pollution, are lagging seriously behind. So, for that matter, is the USA where the only action forward seems to be Barack Obama's pious talk along with the constant and stale applause of his drum-beaters in the media and in the blogosphere. While well intentioned US plans like the Pickens proposals fall by the wayside, the Chinese seem to power ahead with their desire to insulate their country from the vagaries and whims of the oil producing nations and of oil traders and their manipulations.

Yes, China has coal - so does India, but the Chinese consider their coal reserves a finite asset. India has no hesitation in preserving some of its own coal reserves while it encourages massive environmental degradation in Indonesia, Australia, South Africa and elsewhere by mining for coal there and pollutes the air and the seas by shipping it back to India. And, though India has recently articulated a massive proposal to work on solar power, it is going to be difficult for it to do much as it is way behind China on the neccessary manufacturing infrastructure to produce solar and other RE equipment.

However, this is a situation that could be a wake-up call if you ask me. There is no reason why South Asian countries - and India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka etc all have excellent engineers and facilities with which to manufacture / develop renewable energy products. This could be the spark with which to ignite a powerful flame (well, yes, this is an inept simile) of Renewable Energy in South Asia. Our antions would be wealthier because of money saved, our air, water and soil cleaner, and our workers treated more humanely as they no longer have to work in near-slavish conditions in Arab countries.

Let's hope this competition is joined, and, at the soonest.

1 comment:

Mohanakrishnan B said...

If you read the New Indian Express,Times of India,Deccan Chronicle etc of 16/6/2009 you will see articles on TamilNadu entering the field of Wind Energy big time. Of course it remains to be seen whether the prpject will really take off or whether it will remain on paper indefinately. However it was nice to read that they at least had a decent thought. To bring cheer to the heart they had also lined up a photo-op with school kids waving minituare windmills.