Environment concern, power shortage necessitates renewable energy usage

Posted on May 5, 2010 in Environment

Abhirup Bhunia:

There cannot be a better time than this when alternative energy should be given a serious thought — climate change is looming making it imperative to address the environmental concerns and power demand is so high that it cannot be met with the very little oil and coal left in the planet. India is reeling under severe power shortage with Maharsahtra, Gujarat and West Bengal among the hardest hit. The NCR (National Capital Region) and other regions of the country aren’t spared of it.

A difficult situation has posed — while climate change forces us to go green, unbearable power famine talk people into overlooking such concerns and seeking easier ways to produce power. Coal and oil and their burning for production of power come with environment degradation. Even if anxieties about the quality of the air we breathe doesn’t find place in one’s heart there is little option left, given that the country along with the world is facing oil paucity coupled with coal shortage. China, a better economy and a stricter nation, is going through the crisis leaving little doubt that India is in dire straits too.

India’s dependence on the rain gods is not restricted to agriculture, albeit the latter is the bigger reason — electricity, the lack of which is creating havoc in the lives of people, is directly dependant on rain. Reportedly, hydro power generation has fallen back by 10% and due to lack of river waters in the south, hydropower has taken the backseat only to be rejuvenated once monsoon sets in wholesomely. During peak hours 12% power deficiency is faced by India.

Whilst prayers of downpour could only be termed as the last resort, residents should do their bit in maintaining sanity as far as tackling power scarcity is concerned. It is no new thing for the government officials to pass the buck and the sooner one accustoms oneself to it, the better. By falling back on the age old blame game, the authorities at best implies that the DIY (do it yourself) route be followed, and at worst, demonstrates they are least bothered about the quandaries of the common man. Let alone others, heart felt sympathies must go for those students who endured it all and made it a point to remain indifferent to power cuts so as to ensure a sound ride at the examination hall. People often complaint of the excessive heat, but a hindsight shows that great opportunities lay unused. The suns rays are strong and sweltering and solar cells need exactly that to function best. If solar energy prospects are improved, the Celsius hike could be exploited in order to gain some power. Citizens can, however, chip in with little inputs to tackle the menace by cutting down on their power consumption in a manner that does not deprive them of the necessities but curbs sumptuousness or unnecessary consumption. Among other things, cell phone chargers should not be plugged in needlessly, AC’s should not be overused, PC’s should be shut down instead of switching to stand by mode, fans and lights must be switched off when not required and compassion should replace bald-faced consumption. All this indirectly impacts the environment since abidance to these ensures lesser demand in power and consequently lesser utilization of resources that emit pollutants thereby harming the atmosphere.

Therefore alternative resources of energy like water, tidal energy, solar energy and the likes are the need of the hour. That, also, ensures a doubleshot — energy deficit is curbed while environment is not harmed either.