M. Prabhakar Rao

Voices from India on renewable energy sources

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Courtesy of M. Prabhakar Rao

As we all know that all natural resources on this earth are exhaustible sooner than later.  At the current rate in growth of Energy Demand of the world, Fossil Fuels would last in the following order: Oil is expected to last only 45 years, Gas 70 years and Coal 250 years from now.  The good quality coal of low ash content, however, may last only for another 70 to 100 years.

Once these are exhausted we, as humanity, do not have any alternative sources in place to meet the global energy needs.  To ‘Reduce’ the consumption and to conserve these precious resources we need to deploy “Renewable Energy Sources”.

I)  A BROAD LIST OF RENWABLE ENERGY SOURCES:-

A) Power Projects based: Hydro, Wind, Wave, Solar, Geothermal, Biomass.

B) Domestic & Commercial Scale Applications:-

Solar Photovoltaic Heating & Lighting Systems;
Energy Efficient Lighting;
Energy Efficient Domestic & Commercial Scale Appliances;
Fuel Efficient Automobiles & other Injection Fuel Engines;
Kitchen & other Organic Waste based Biogas Heating Systems.

II)  EMERGING BIOFUELS TECHNOLOGIES:-

BioDiesel,
Algae-BioDiesel,
BioEthenol.

While speaking of these Alternatives, even small mixture of the above with the Petro-Fuels yields tremendous emission reductions in our Automobiles and Generating Sets.

III)  YET TO BE COMMERCIALIZED ALTERNATIVE FUELS TECHNOLOGIES:-

Hydrogen Fuel Cells,
Crystalline Photo Voltaic Cells, etc.
Cellulosic Ethanol,

IV)  OPTIONS AT INDIVIDUAL LEVEL ENERGY EFFICIENCY & SAVINGS:-

Avoid using more than one Car, per family, except under compulsions and try to use FFV (Flexi-Fuel Vehicles) or even 100% BioDiesel & Bio-Ethanol run Automobiles & Engines;
Using Public Transport whenever possible or shared cars;
Using fuel-efficient Automobiles
Using energy-efficient lighting;
Using energy-efficient Home Appliances, including Air-Conditioners & Geysers;
Avoid any form of wastage of water.
Use Biodiesel/Ethanol fuelled Vehicles, Engines, et al;
Turnoff all appliances, lighting, fans, A/Cs. Etc., when not required;
Switch off all lighting, heating, air-conditioning equipment and all other home / office appliances; 
Employment Opportunities for Youth:

Apart from under & post graduate studies in Environment Sciences, Management, Systems, Technologies, Engineering, there are a lot of scope for trained & experienced Technicians of Emission Reduction Equipments and Effluent Treatment Plants, Research & Development and Environment Awareness Volunteer work and jobs with NGOs involved with Environment Preservation, Resource Conservation and Community Development areas.  Further there is a lot of scope with Science Teachers, specializing in Environment Education in Schools as a general subject.  Yes, we need to enlighten our children on the Environment and the repercussions of our actions on Ecology.

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