INFRASTRUCTURE ECONOMY : A NEW LOOK ON RENEWABLE AND GREEN ENERGY Dr.R.BALASUBRAMANIYAN Reader Department of Economics D.G.Vaishnav College Chennai- 600 106. e-mail; email@example.com
Introduction • Renewable sources of energy can supplement our energy security need. This resources are eco-friendly and economical. Initial cost is high but operating expenses are minimum. We have huge renewable potential yet to be exploited. The shares of big-fuel in the energy mix of the major economies of the world are growing. • In 2005, global ethanol production increased to 33 billion liters, compared to 30.5 billion liters in 2004 growing at a rate of 8 per cent. The growth rate of the US production was 15 per cent and EU grew by 70 per cent during that period. But big diesel growth far out spaced that of ethanol. In 2005, the global production of big- diesel reached to 30.9 billion liters from 21 billion liters in 2005.
The harnessing of wind power for electricity generation is being carried out by private companies and they have established generating capacity to the tune of over 1500MW. Our wind power potential is very high but probable capital cost limits the growth of this new sector. • We have huge solar potential ready to be tapped either through solar photovoltaic route or through solar thermal route. Technology is available for stand alone applications and for grid connected power system. • The stand alone applications include the installation of solar powered street lighting, domestic lights, solar lanterns etc. The solar thermal devices include, water heater for domestic and industrial purposes, solar cookers, solar dyers etc. Solar thermal power plants are another option to generate electricity
To maintain our sustainable growth rate, it is estimated that the country will have to increase its energy production by atleast 4 per cent annually. We are the world’s eleventh-largest energy producer, with 2.4 per cent energy production, and the world’s sixth largest consumer, with 3.5 per cent of global energy consumption. • Domestic coal production accounts for 70 per cent of India’s energy needs. Therefore, in this paper a modest attempt has been made to capture the potentials and challenges faced by the Renewable energy sector in India. It also underscores the dangers posed by Nuclear energy sector on our environment.
It is a fact that India’s need for power is growing at an exponential rate. Many study reveals that India is currently ranked sixth in the World in terms of total installed electricity generating capacity, and accounts for about 3.3 per cent of the World total. About three-quarters of India’s generating capacity is thermal-electric power plants, while slightly less than one-quarter is hydroelectric, about 2 per cent is nuclear and the remaining 1 per cent is non-hydro renewable. • Nearly, 30 per cent of India’s energy needs are met by oil, and more than 60 per cent of that oil is imported. According to one estimate with the given strong growth in oil demand, oil consumption may increase to 3.1 million barrels per day (b/d) by 2010.
Demand for Energy • India is currently the world’s eighth-largest oil consumer, accounting for about 2.8 per cent of world’s total annual oil consumption. There is a significant gap between petroleum production and petroleum consumption (Abdus Salam et al., 2005). • India has huge coal reserves and its share stands at about 7 per cent of the World’s total. According to one estimate, with the current level of production and consumption, coal reserves would last for nearly three centuries. India is at present the third-greatest coal consuming country (behind China and US), and accounts for nearly 8 per cent of the World’s total annual coal consumption.
India is at present the third-greatest coal consuming country (behind China and US), and accounts for nearly 8 per cent of the World’s total annual coal consumption. Nearly three-quarters of India’s electricity and two-thirds of its commercial energy now comes from coal. • In all, India depends on coal for more than half of its total energy needs, and the demand for coal has been steadily increasing over the past few years (Abdus Salam et al., 2005).
GLOBAL SCENERIOA. China launches Large-Scale Renewable Energy Plan • China has released an ambitious plan to develop renewable energy to cut its surging carbon dioxide emissions. The 'Middle and Long-term Development Plan of Renewable Energies' promises to derive ten per cent of China's energy supply from renewables by 2010 and 15 per cent by 2020.The plan was published yesterday (4 September) by China's energy watchdog, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC)."I know these big targets [for renewables] have not been made by many countries, and they are also a great challenge to us," said Chen Deming, vice-chairman of NDRC, at a news conference. • The total investment needed to meet the 2020 goal will be two trillion yuan (US$133.3 billion), according to the plan. China plans to increase its annual hydropower generating capacity from 170 million kilowatts in 2005 to 300 million kilowatts by 2020
B. Wind and Solar Energy potential • China has opened a new centre to assess its potential to generate wind and solar energy. The Centre for Wind and Solar Energy Assessment, part of the China Meteorology Administration, opened last week. • It will assess how much energy can be generated through wind and solar power in key Chinese regions, generate estimates of the wind energy potential at specific locations to help plan for wind power plants, and evaluate the impact of natural disasters, such as sand storms, on the operation of the wind power plants. It will also carry out nationwide surveys of China's solar energy potential. • In 2005, China generated 1.26 million kilowatts in wind energy. Scientists estimate that this number could be increased to 3.3 billion kilowatts for land-based wind energy alone.
In 2005, China generated 1.26 million kilowatts in wind energy. Scientists estimate that this number could be increased to 3.3 billion kilowatts for land-based wind energy alone. China's medium and long-term development plan for sustainable energy released in 2004 predicts that by 2020, wind power will supply 30 million kilowatts per year. • Zhang Qiang, a senior researcher of the Centre for Wind and Solar Energy Assessment, says that China's current wind forecasts are not precise enough to allow scientists to estimate how much wind energy could be generated in various regions. The new centre will seek to refine the geographical aspect of wind forecasts. • Currently, the smallest area that forecasts can resolve is 100 square kilometres. Zhang says that when it comes to deciding where to place wind power plants, this resolution is not good enough. The new centre will try to develop and improve the resolution down to five square kilometres.
C. Solar Power Takes off in Kenya • The expense and unreliability of electricity supply is fuelling East African interest in solar energy. In rural Kenya, where there is no electricity, solar systems have proven popular with small-scale businesses and farms, where it is used to power water pumps and lighting. Solar energy is cheap compared to electricity because, once the necessary equipment has been installed, there is no additional monthly charge. • Additionally solar systems require little maintenance, owing to the lack of moving parts, and solar energy offers "a stable grid quality output without power fluctuations". • Private company Solar World East Africa is set to launch "solar kits" that provide enough power for lighting, charging a mobile phone and operating an FM radio
Jatropha Curcas as Green Energy • Jatropha Curcas is an excellent bio-fuel crop which has many advantages over existing crops. Jatropha is perennial which can grow in arid conditions (even deserts), on any kind of ground, and does not require irrigation or suffer in droughts. Therefore unlike the common bio-fuel crops of today (corn and sugar), they are very easy to cultivate even on poor land providing great social and economic benefits. • Jatropha is fast growing and it beings yielding oil in the second year and for the next forty to fifty years. Optimal yields are obtained from the sixth year, and spaced at 2 meter intervals, around 2500 plants can be cultivated per hectare. Jatropha absorbs large amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and therefore is environment friendly.
Jatropha is a valuable multi-purpose crop to alleviate soil degradation, desertification and deforestation, which can be used for bio-energy to replace petrol/diesel, for soap production and climatic protection. Requiring little water and a lot of sun, Jatropha can be grown even on wasteland. • It thrives well under both drip irrigation and flood irrigation. Inter cropping is possible with crops like mustard, dhalls, surface vegetables like pumpkin, and so on. Jatropha can help to increase rural incomes, self-sustainability and alleviate poverty for women, men tribal communities, and small farmers.
Since two-thirds of the people in the developing world derive their incomes from agriculture, Jatropha based bio diesel has enormous potential to change their situation for the better. It is no wonder that the Planning Commission of India has nominated it as the ideal plant for bio-diesel. The Tamil Nadu State Government has announced that there will be no purchase tax on Jatropha. Sales tax on bio diesel from Jatropha seeds will be 4 per cent besides issue of special incentives as per industrial policy statement 2003 of the Government of Tamil Nadu (Renuka Devi et al., 2008). • Power is one of the pillars of the infrastructure sector. However, this sector has been missing targets over the years. There has been a 6.6 per cent growth in generation, reported during the April-December period of 2007-08 over the corresponding period of previous fiscal. The overall power generation in the country stood at 525.91 billion units (BU) marginally lower than the target set for the period. • IV
Green Energy • Wind power forms a very small part of the total electricity generation at the global level, when compared to power from fossil fuel and hydro power. However, countries are increasingly adopting wind power and other renewable energy sources to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels and minimize the impact on the environment In terms of installed capacity for power generation, wind energy is growing faster than other renewable energy sources such as solar energy, geothermal energy, and tidal energy. • Wind energy generation, which initially started in Europe and the United States, is gradually expanding to the rest of the world.
In 2005, 11 countries - Germany, Spain, Denmark, Italy, the UK, the Netherlands, Portugal, India, China, Japan, and the US - each accounted for more than 1000 MW of wind power generation capacity, as compared to only five countries having an installed capacity of more than 1000 MW in 2003. • In 2003, the share of the top five wind energy generating countries - Germany, Spain, USA, India, and Denmark - in global installed capacity was about 82%. This share decreased to about 79% in 2004, which further declined to about 77 per cent in 2005.
Electricity can be generated from a large array of sources that can be classified into fossil fuels (oil, coal and natural gas), nuclear power, and renewable sources such as hydro power, wind energy, solar energy, biomass energy, geothermal energy, and wave and tide power. Wind power forms a very small part of the total power consumed at the global level, when compared to fossil fuel and hydro power. • After the oil crisis in the 1970s, many countries tried to reduce their reliance on oil imports from the Middle East, which meets a significant part of the global oil demand.
Table 1Nuclear Energy in the World as % of total Power Generation • Country Percentage • France 77 • Lithuania 64 • Belgium 54 • Solvakia 54 • Japan 27 • USA 19 • India 2.5 • China 1.9 • Source: Monthly Commentary, IIPO, New Delhi, Oct. 2008 p.18.
Conclusion • Merits • * The CO2 scale allows customers to make an informed decision, based on the amount of CO2 produced. • Customers can also see the respective mix of fuels used to produce energy. • The actions being taken by suppliers to offset or reduce the environmental impact of production to be disclosed. • From the customer’s point of view, it’s a painless commitment to doing something positive to help the environment; no action is required - apart from payment of bills on receipt!
Demerits • The CO2 scale ranks nuclear energy as a very 'green' source of supply, due to its low CO2 emissions. However most would argue that nuclear is far from a green energy supply. • * Green products / tariffs are traditionally more expensive, and this is not very clear to customers unless they do a full price comparison. • * Users may be better off choosing a cheaper tariff and making their own green arrangements e.g. planting a tree themselves, or offsetting CO2.* Renewable energy is highly controversial and can have its own environmental impacts e.g. a wind turbine can be considered both beautiful and an eyesore! (http://www.confused.com/gas-electricity )
Subsidy for Power Consumers in Tamil Nadu:2009-10 • Category Approved by TNERC*(Rs.in Cr) • Domestic 1,269.56 • Agricultural 263.00* • Hut Connections 15.00 • Places of public worship 5.95 • Powerloom consumers(Redu.in Tariff) 32.62 • Powerloom consumers • (Free supply from 01-08-2006) 29.15 • Handloom weavers(free supply) 5.40 • Street Lights and public water supply 51.49 • Total 1672.17 • *includes Rs.53 cr for agri.connections given under self-financing scheme