Thursday, August 6, 2009

Now, Imagine These Plants Along the Long Indian Coast . . .

Its funny how the video in this post took me back to my schooldays and to one of my favorite teachers, now sadly deceased, Mrs Gozmao. She taught Geography and one of the best memories that I have is of a class where she discussed the long Indian coastline and the potential for India to use the many inlets along the coast to shelter small vessels. It was obvious why Britain, a seafaring nation, had become India's biggest colonial power - the country offered the British ample opportunity to build past centuries' equivalent of naval bases at Madras, Calcutta and Bombay (which they acquired from the Portuguese.) The other major seafaring nations of Europe were there as well - the Danes, the French and the Portuguese.

But this long, peninsular coast, now has something else that could become as relevant as the numerous ports and trading and naval inlets were historically: as a boy who grew up in the seaside town that in now called Chennai, I can see where the many beaches that dot the coast could be locations for solar powerplants like this one: The water required for cooling would easily be extracted from the sea and reduce the need to draw river water unlike most current powerplants in the country. And with fishermen and fishing communities dying by the day, literally, because pollution and depleting catches have wiped out fish populations in much of the region, these projects could provide valuable employment opportunities for fishermen who could be trained to work at these plants in various capacities. This technology could be applied equally successfully in countries across the region - Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Myanmar, and so on. I can see where this could be an amazing new direction as far as generating clean power and also helping with chronic employment shortages in coastal communities across the region is concerned.

eSolar's website is Congratulations to them on their success and thanks to EcoGeek for announcing the news on their website!

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