Economy, Energy and Environment

Economy, Energy and Environment

Necessity, who is the mother of invention[1]

A quote that actually unravels the truth behind every hasty invention. The very dire need to survive and breathe every lively breath of life.

ECONOMY-ENERGY-ENVIRONMENT are the three children whose nurturing has to be done well to yield BOON else one yields a BANE. Such is the present scenario of mankind which is now in a jinx caused by its own callous outlook. The emission of carbon dioxide has caused enough chaos that the aftermath is just a step away to witness! The 15th UNITED NATIONS CLIMATE CHANGE CONFERENCE at COPENHAGEN was just another multi nation starrer movie where presidents and delegates from various nations battled their tongues in an act to find which nation has the best tongue–flickerer!!. Celebrities shedding clothes, scientists wobbling words ,companies running out of cars to manufacture and yet they manage to manufacture 1200 limos and 140 planes- all for a “summit to save world”!!!. The output of this highly elevated conference was the failure of UNFCCC[2] to make the KYOTO PROTOCOL a success when the developed economies eloped with the “polluter pays principle” and the developing economies deteriorate to new heights of “Rags dreaming of Riches”.

Instead of saving the left over tropical greeneries the Indian government in search of DYNAMIC development has introduced a rather STATIC “Green India Mission “ announced under one of the eight missions of NAPCC[3].a mission which would just end up as a mere innocuous effort in the annual report file. Sir Jairam ramesh learning from his mistakes from Copenhagen makes a significant decision regarding the vendanta mining project .A more applaudable decision than appreciable. It would be more commendable if he would just peek into the mercury r­­­­­­­­­­ich grounds of the green Kodaikanal.The Indian government’s misconception of growing green and saving environment will lead to the extinction of the inevitable Indian wild life*.

The world energy crisis is the second closing door to the Bermuda triangle. The year 2008 witnessed worldwide consumption of 474 exajoules (474×1018 J) of energy with 80 to 90 percent derived from the combustion of fossil fuels which is equivalent to an average power consumption rate of 15 terawatts (1.504×1013 W).  Not all of the world’s economies track their energy consumption with the same rigor, and moreover the exact energy content of a barrel of oil or a ton of coal will vary with quality. Followed by the black hole year 2009, world energy consumption fell drastically in 30 years (-1.1%) or 130Mtoe thanks to financial and economic crisis (GDP drop by 0.6% in 2009).Energy consumption growth remained vigorous in several developing countries, specifically in Asia (+4%). Conversely, in OECD[4],consumption got severely cut by 4.7% in 2009 and was almost down to 2000 levels. In North America, Europe and CIS, consumptions shrank by 4.5%, 5% and 8.5% respectively due to the slowdown in economic activity. China became the world’s largest energy consumer (18% of the total) since its consumption surged by 8% during 2009 (from 4% in 2008)!!!.Oil remained the largest energy source (33%)despite its lowering share over time. Coal posted a growing role in the world’s energy consumption: in 2009, it accounted for grand total of 27%.The U.S EIA[5] report on Indian energy analysis in a brief sentence “India boasts a growing economy and is increasingly a significant consumer of oil and natural gas”. According to the IEA[6], “coal/peat account for massive 40 percent total energy consumption, followed by 27 percent for combustible renewable and waste, Oil accounts for 24 percent, natural 6 percent, hydroelectric power almost 2 percent, nuclear a minute 1 percent and other renewable microscopic 0.5 percent. According to the Indian government, nearly 30 percent of India’s total energy needs are met through imports”. IEA data for 2008 indicates the electrification rates for India were nearly 65 percent for the country as a whole. In urban areas, 93 percent had access to electricity compared to rural areas where electrification rates were approximately 50 percent. Roughly 400 million people do not have access to electricity in India!!. According to OGJ[7], India had approximately 5.6 billion barrels of proven oil reserves as of January 2010, the second-largest amount in the Asia-Pacific region after China. U.S.A take on India’s oil energy analysis” The Indian government continues to hold licensing rounds in an effort to promote exploration activities and boost domestic oil production. India’s mammoth consumption In 2009,makes it the fourth largest consumer of oil in the world. EIA predicts a 10 fold growth in oil consumption through 2011.The combination of rising oil consumption and relatively flat production has left India increasingly dependent on imports to meet its petroleum demand. In 2009, India became the sixth largest net importer of oil in the world, importing nearly sky-high 70 percent, of its oil needs. The EIA expects India to become the fourth largest net importer of oil in the world by 2025,  after United States, China, and Japan  Now for the cover up Indian government’s MOSPI[8] 2009-10 Annual report says” India has been net importer of coal and crude oil, showing a consistent increasing trend over the years. However,the trend has changed and the country has become a net exporter of petroleum products since 2001-02. In 2007-08, exports of petroleum products stood at 39 million tonnes, against imports of 23 million tonnes”.. According to Oil and Gas Journal, India had approximately 38 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of proven natural gas reserves as of January 2010. The EIA estimates that India produced approximately  20 percent increase in 2009 over 2008 production levels. and U.S.A take on this” Despite major new natural gas discoveries in recent years, India continues to plan on gas imports to meet its future needs”.

RECESSION hitting the global economy shores and big companies shedding their employees. With high economic growth rates and over 15 percent of the world’s population, despite this global financial crisis, it still hopes to be an EMERGING POWER!! With half the population moaning about food prices, other half engaged in and are living on agriculture as farmers or farm labour and even the combined population of these hardly contributes 18 percent of GDP[9].moreover in contrast with the IT sector which employs 0.2 percent of the population and accounts for 5 percent of GDP —a sample of country employment and growth mismatch!!.Yet 60 percent of this workforce is self employed and 90 percent of this force is employed by unorganized sector. Henceforth we manage to avoid the “UNDEREMPLOYED” category. Coming to the statistics we top the world in “INFANT AND MATERNAL MORTALITY RATE”!.As for the per capita food grain availability which has decremented for the last 20 years and this indeed is the period of our most -RAPID ECONOMIC GROWTH- a mere coincidence!.–a country where 100 richest people ,millionaires and billionaries hold assets worth 25 percent of the GDP!! Wealth concentrated in fewer and fewer hands are always more efficient. to keep the democratic dreams alive.  The government has funded the GUN-BARRELS which constitute the Army, the Police, the Central reserve Police Force, the Border Security force, the Central Industrial Security Force, the Pradhesik Armed Constabulary, the Indo-Tibetan Border Police, the Eastern Frontier Rifles as well as the scorpions,Greyhounds,and Cobras to crush the misguided insurrects that erupt in mineral rich areas!!.Hence with this we close the last door to the DEVIL’S DEN i.e. the BERMUDA TRIANGLE!!!.

So many issues that have to be resolved …so many questions left unanswered to accumulate and rot which would lead to an APOCALYPTIC REVOLUTION.. BUT WHAT WE EXACTLY NEED IS NOT REVOLUTION BUT “A REVELATION”-a breakthrough in science.

 

The National Science Foundation in testimony before the Senate Interior Committee in 1972 stated that “Solar energy is an essential inexhaustible source potentially capable of meeting a significant portion of the nation’s future needs with minimum of adverse environmental consequences…the indications are that Solar Energy is the most promising of the unconventional energy sources…” This was the statement given 22 years ago when the world was basking under the limelight of industrial revolution.

And now it could be the last hope to save the Earth. Since  the last 20 years, significant development has been made in this regard but at a gradual rate. The new applications such as Solar detoxification, which utilizes solar photochemical processes to treat contaminated water, air and soil; and also Solar photovolaitic conversions (PV) which has matured markedly.PV systems are now more efficient with cost at about $5/watt compared to $30/watt in 1980. For this reason,photovolaitic are now more cost effective in comparison to many other applications all over the worldand thus becomes more economically viable.

In 2007 grid-connected photovoltaic electricity was the fastest growing energy source, with installations of all photovoltaics increasing by 83% in 2009 to bring the total installed capacity to 15 GW. Nearly half of the increase was in Germany, which is now the world’s largest consumer of photovoltaic electricity (followed by Japan). Solar cell production increased by 50% in 2007, to 3,800 megawatts, and has been doubling every two years. New advances in manufacturing has reduced the energy payback time to two-and-a-half to five years, while life time has increased to more than 25 years. Passive solar heating is now a standard feature in modern ,energy efficient homes built in sunny, cold parts of the country . Solar water-heating systems are reliable ,efficient and long lasting. The consumption of solar hot water and solar space heating was estimated at 88 GWt (gigawatts of thermal power) in 2004. The heating of water for unglazed swimming pools is excluded.

Solar Thermal Power Conversions have been demonstrated successfully at a level of hundreds of megawatts. A large Solar Thermal Power plant using concentrated parabolic troughs has been operating reliably for more than ten years ,producing 354MW under designed conditions. Central receiver power has been demonstrated at a level of 10MW. Solar powered Striling Engine systems now use advanced concepts ,including free piston designs and stretched membrane dishes . Finally solar resource assessment is advancing with new measurement and estimation procedure using satellite data.

The available solar energy resources are 3.8 YJ/yr (120,000 TW). Less than 0.02% of available resources are sufficient to entirely replace fossil fuels and nuclear power as an energy source. As suggested by experts, the cost of establishing solar power plants at favorable locations will be no more than that of nuclear power plant when the development of these plants have been completed. Assuming that our rate of usage in 2010 remains constant, we will run out of conventional oil in 2045, and coal in 2159. In practice, neither will actually run out as natural constraints will force production to decline as the remaining reserves dwindle. The rate at which demand increases and reserves dwindle has been increasing dramatically because the rate of consumption is not constant. For example, if demand for oil doubled, reserves would not last as long. In addition, the cost of fossil fuels continues to rise as solar power becomes more economically viable.

Energy consumption is loosely correlated with gross national product and climate, but there is a large difference even between the most highly developed countries, such as Japan and Germany with 6 kW per person and United States with 11.4 kW per person. In developing countries particularly those which are sub-tropical or tropical such as India the per person energy use is closer to 0.7 kW. Bangladesh has the lowest consumption with 0.2 kW per person.

The earth and its atmosphere receive continuously 1.7×1017 W of  radiation

from the sun. World population of 10 billion people with a total power need per person of 10kW would require about  1017KW of energy it is apparent that if radiance on only 1 percent of  the earth’s surface could be converted into useful energy with 10 percent efficiency, solar energy could provide the energy needs of all the people on earth. This figure is often quoted by solar energy enthusiasm, but unfortunately the nature of this energy source has technical problems and economic limitations that are not apparent from this macroscopic view of the energy budget.

The present world trauma regarding Energy, environment and economy could be dealt with sustainable development combined with renewable resource development

The following research would make in sustainable development combined with renewable resource.”” Global climate change has prompted efforts to drastically reduce emissions of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas produced by burning fossil fuels. In a new approach, researchers from the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science have genetically modified a cyanobacterium to consume carbon dioxide and produce the liquid fuel isobutanol, which holds great potential as a gasoline alternative. The reaction is powered directly by energy from sunlight, through photosynthesis.“The research appears in the Dec. 9 print edition of the journal Nature Biotechnology and is available online.”This new method has two advantages for the long-term, global-scale goal of achieving a cleaner and greener energy economy, the researchers say. First, it recycles carbon dioxide, reducing greenhouse gas emissions resulting from the burning of fossil fuels. Second, it uses solar energy to convert the carbon dioxide into a liquid fuel that can be used in the existing energy infrastructure, including in most automobiles. While other alternatives to gasoline include deriving biofuels from plants or from algae, both of these processes require several intermediate steps before refinement into usable fuels.“This new approach avoids the need for biomass deconstruction, either in the case of cellulosic biomass or algal biomass, which is a major economic barrier for biofuel production,” said team leader James C. Liao, Chancellor’s Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at UCLA and associate director of the UCLA–Department of Energy Institute for Genomics and Proteomics. “Therefore, this is potentially much more efficient and less expensive than the current approach.”Using the cyanobacterium Synechoccus elongatus, researchers first genetically increased the quantity of the carbon dioxide–fixing enzyme RuBisCO. Then they spliced genes from other microorganisms to engineer a strain that intakes carbon dioxide and sunlight and produces isobutyraldehyde gas. The low boiling point and high vapor pressure of the gas allows it to easily be stripped from the system. The engineered bacteria can produce isobutanol directly, but researchers say it is currently easier to use an existing and relatively inexpensive chemical catalysis process to convert isobutyraldehyde gas to isobutanol, as well as other useful petroleum-based products. In addition to Liao, the research team included lead author Shota Atsumi, a former UCLA postdoctoral scholar now on the UC Davis faculty, and UCLA postdoctoral scholar Wendy Higashide. An ideal place for this system would be next to existing power plants that emit carbon dioxide, the researchers say, potentially allowing the greenhouse gas to be captured and directly recycled into liquid fuel.“We are continuing to improve the rate and yield of the production,” Liao said. “Other obstacles include the efficiency of light distribution and reduction of bioreactor cost. We are working on solutions to these problems.”The research was supported in part by a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy.””

. all nations and economies must come together to find peace to this chaos. Effforts must be made in establishing large scale production of renewable energy and sustaining the present fuel reservoirs the secondary for secondary development..It is a considerable fact that all renewable resources come from solar radiation. In addition to this education and nurturing of engineers must shift its focus from non-renewable resource technology to renewable power sources. As for India it must act quickly if it wishes to sustain it’s fossil reserves which in turn could result in employment, resolve energy crisis and gradual economic upliftment.

Although solar radiant energy is free, the equipment required to convert it to a useful form, thermal or electrical is not free. Therefore, a cost must be assigned to the solar thermal or solar electrical energy that deflects the conversion equipment cost prorated on the number of kilowatt-hours or Btus delivered by the solar system. If the solar cost is less than the cost of other energy sources that can perform the same task, there is an economic incentive to use solar energy. The purpose of economic optimization is to maximize the savings resulting from use of solar energy. Hence implementing the theoretical aspect of solar energy to practical and requires huge capital and workforce to yield a desirable output.

 

Despite this encouraging assessment of the potential of solar energy, considerable technical and  economic problems must be solved before large scale utilization of solar energy can occur. The future of solar power development will depend on how we deal with a number of serious constraints, including scientific and technological problems, marketing and financial limitations, and political and legislative actions favoring conventional and nuclear power.

 

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Muhammed Sakhib

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