The Future of Renewable Energy is secure

12 Apr

Past clean energy growth 1995-2007. Based on i...

Past clean energy growth 1995-2007. Based on information contained in REN21 (2007) Global Status Report. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As time passes by Renewable Energy is becoming common word among communities & business which till now were not much interested in it. The factors are many, proposed increase in grid tariff, uncertainty in coal supply especially in the State Maharashtra, India.
What was most interesting is that people are willing to listen and adapt to alternative energy source. If India wants to capture the full spectrum of alternate / renewable energy, it should explore the opportunities in Geo-thermal as well. I have been fortunate to understand the scope of geo-thermal from an authority in the field and who is also considered as one of the top 10 innovators, Dr. Ritesh Arya. Who earned a place in the Guinness Book of World Records for striking ground water and drilling the highest bore-well in the world in Ladakh.
In my opinion the desolate deserts of Ladakh are ideal for both Geo-thermal and Solar + Wind Hybrid plants. The power generated could well be used for development purpose of this remote region, which can bring in prosperity both to the people of the region as well as to the various companies who would want to set up their power plants there.
According to Dr. Arya places like Manikaran, Tatapani and Vashist (Himachal) and Chumathang, Panamic, Puga Sasoma, Marsmicla and Demchuk (Ladakh), had a history and also acquired religious sanctity which could be exploited to attract tourists. “By setting up of recreational facilities like swimming pools, spas and good hotels and using the green non-polluting geothermal energy, the state could take lead in promoting low-carbon footprint tourism,” he pointed out.

Worldwide Renewable energy, existing capacitie...

Worldwide Renewable energy, existing capacities, at end of 2008, from REN21. Total energy is from BP Statistical Review. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In his published paper he has, highlighted the importance of developing geothermal sites and has asserted that advanced countries, which has acquired expertise in the field, should provide technical and other required support to the developing countries where the geothermal resource planning and development is still in its infancy. “After all, benefits of geothermal and rock energy has to be shared by all irrespective of the place. Also Clean rock energy should be made available to all at a very low price. Investment opportunities to develop geothermal sources are many but because of lack of initiatives by the successive government and policy makers, geothermal resource is a badly neglected resource.”
Now coming to the Solar Photo Voltaic, although the Government of India has shown great promise in support and development of Renewable Energy, subsidy is not the way forward. What is more required is to make Business aware of the inherent quality of making business sustainable. It is been historically recorded that even those who enter the USA Fortune 500 companies, their life-span is not more than 40 years, in Japan and Europe between 12 -15 years. The reason for this has been many, but most could be attributed to Business Risk. Now, this business risk has become more acute because of the Climate Change that is induced by human activity.
Yet, there are many who do not believe that Human activity has any impact on climate change. My esteemed friend Dr. Arya who I’ve mentioned above has even published a well documented article backed with solid evidence that Climate Change ie; Global Cooling and Global Warming is Cyclic and human have very little role to play in it.
His paper which was showcased in the Lisbon Global Conference on Global Warming: – C – curves and the Global Warming phenomenon. In which he says that – “Climate change happens in a pattern of  four cycles of 1176 years and a half cycle of 588 years. The last Ice Age ended in 10,000 years ago. Presently we are in a half cycle and seeing these signatures at present it seems that we have entered into warming phenomenon and are yet to experience the global maxima in the present C curve which may be around from today. Global Cooling and Global Warming is a Natural phenomenon”
Although it is a phenomenal work, what I humbly suggest is that there is no evidence of Human interference between the last Ice Age which ended 10,000 years ago and the present half –cycle because exponential human induced Green House Gas activity actually began only in the last 100 years and only in the last 60 years it has taken up endemic proportion since Earth became a Global village. Therefore Humankind does not know what would be the effect on the Eco-system which has gone into accelerated mode of Global Warming because of the human induced activity.
So, if we read into what the IPCC presents as a report, we should naturally lean our economy towards a less Carbon emitting system. To do that alternate and renewable energy are the only options.
In alternate energy, we are looking at Methane Hydrates, Shale Gas, and Tar –Sands in one spectrum and bio-fuel in the other. While bio-fuel today is not an alternative which can cater to the humongous energy needs, extraction of methane hydrates to tar-sands have their own share of controversy. This again leads us to the Renewable Energy source like Wave, Geo-thermal, Micro-hydro, and Wind & Solar. The first 3 are let’s say, at the incubation stage, which leaves us with Wind & Solar as the only viable alternative.
The most important factor about Wind& Solar is that the technology does not need any form of extraction, which always will be finite (barring wave & geo-thermal but they have their own engineering challenges) and it can be scaled both at Macro & Micro level, providing ease of use even to the common person. Thus grass root penetration is possible.
While it is a no-brainer to say that Wind & Solar cannot cover the total spectrum of energy needs, a judicious balance between the fossil fuel technology and the RE can act as a bridge for now to takes us into the future, safely enough to devise the best energy source which would help Humankind without the catastrophic dangers associated to GHG induced Climate Change.


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