Saturday, May 07, 2005

moi in indian express re. energy great game

may 7th

i do believe energy is going to be a big deal, and in fact it already is.

why aren't we working like mad on solar energy, the 'sood effect' discovered by iisc scientists, and so forth?


Anonymous said...

First, congratulations on the Indian Express publishing you.

Second, it's an insightful article as always.

Anonymous said...

i disagree on the previous posters first statement but completely concur with the second. the ie is an old hag whose editors are only good at s*cking up to 'madamji' - no class or logic in there. rajeev is doing them a favor imho.

san said...

I've always been very interested in energy-technologies, and they're even more interesting now that oil prices are high and oil reserves under such intense competition. I would point out to Rajeev that 'Sood Effect' in particular is useless for power, since its energy and power density is low. Solar will be useful for buildings and residences to conserve energy, but is still too low to directly support industrial activity, much less transportation. There is obviously its high cost of capital and the cost per watt is still much higher than oil, and the same goes for wind power and other much-touted alternatives. India should definitely keep developing hydroelectricity and nuclear power. Even the Chinese are developing advanced Pebble-bed reactors which are very safe from meltdown. Abundant frozen methane hydrate can also be found on the ocean floor surrounding India and other countries, but it's very tricky to extract, which is why India is jointly researching this with US, Canada, Japan, etc. Fuel cells will have a tremendous impact on India once they get rolling, just like cellphones have. Underdeveloped countries are very poor at organized infrastructure (eg. telephone landlines and powerlines) which is why distributed technologies which bypass the organization bottlenecks (eg. cellphones, fuel cells, WiMax) can have a tremendous impact in liberating economic potential, particularly for rural areas.

Ravi Krishna said...

As usual another excellent article by RS.
I am really worried about China jaggaurnat.

acd said...

Good one Nizhal Yoddha. I am sure the left-wing journalism of IE will be scratching it's head in confusion over what hit it.
Anyways,here's something i received as a forwarded mail sometime back. Though it is not directly related to the article that you wrote for IE, it makes an interesting reading. Specially the allusion to Indian polticians specially Sonia & Brajesh Mishra's involvement in Enron deal.
I found the findings of this article particularly intriguing. Though one cannot vouch for its veracity.

nizhal yoddha said...

san, please tell us more about the sood effect and why it does not have potential. yes, agreed that solar panels are too expensive, but that's the reason to concentrate on bringing the price down, because they will give india essentially unlimited energy. the business about distributed systems is true, i have said in the past that this is one of the strengths of indic culture, too.

nizhal yoddha said...

acd, thanks, interesting article on dabhol, enron etc. the great game has been going on for some time, and india is only waking up to it now.

san said...

Hi Rajeev,
Sood Effect converts the miniscule frictional energy from air flowing against a semiconductor surface into a miniscule amount of electric current. So it can't be scaled up to create large amounts of electricity from airflow. If you want to do that, you need wind turbines, like in those wind farms.
However, I'd love to post various other tech links I hope you'll find useful for India:

These are just a few off the top of my head, but I have plenty more.
I really think Indian govt should focus on rural development -- after all, it is this under-attended portion of India which has the most untapped potential in need of liberation. How can one meaningfully talk about 900 million Hindus when most of them don't have an impact on the world? It's rural development of these traditional people that will radically enlarge the Hindu voice.

san said...

Oops, that should have been

san said...

I'd like to add that Japan is the world's most advanced country in fuel cell and solar technology, spending the most money on their development and running the most R&D projects. They openly boast they'd like to become the "Saudi Arabia of fuel cells". Besides obviously geostrategic partnerships, India needs to particularly cooperate with them on energy alternatives and energy-saving technologies.

Speaking of Japan, I hear that N.Korea has just pulled out all their nuclear fuel rods to reprocess them, which is a sign of an impending move to cross the nuclear threshold, starting with an N-Test.

A nuclear N.Korea will likely provoke a more alarmed and assertive stance from Japan. I'd say that the credibility of US strategic assurances to Japan is in peril if N.Korea goes nuclear. Japan will be forced to shed its timid pacificism for something that actually works. A more nationalistic and assertive Japan will likely look favorably upon India as an ally, IMHO.