Director General of Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) and the Editor of Down To Earth magazine. She is an environmentalist who pushes for changes in policies, practices and mindsets

Going off-grid to power solution

grid powerSupply issues comprise one part of the energy conundrum, as we discussed last fortnight. The cost of energy and our ability to pay for it is the other. The matter gets vexed because the rise in price of raw material of all energy sources is accompanied by huge inefficiency in distribution and accounting. But importantly, we remain a poor country where cost of energy is a factor in its availability and accessibility for all.

Coal is clearly the king of cheap energy. But increasingly, even here, costs have been escalating. For instance, Tata Power Company’s ultra-mega thermal power plant at Mundra in Gujarat was cited as a circuit breaker. This 4,000 MW plant, based on imported coal, would supply at Rs 2.26 per unit for the next 25 years. The economics worked till coal prices were in the range of US $30-40 per tonne. Now coal costs have surged to US $110-120 per tonne, upsetting the imported coal applecart. Reliance Power’s 4,000 MW Krishnapatnam project and JSW Energy’s 2,000 MW expansion plan for Ratnagiri plant is reportedly on hold for the same reason.

Similarly, there are constraints on gas imports. We have not managed to negotiate many long-term supply contracts—and the ones we have with Iran are in trouble because of US pressure to disengage with this country. We also have constraints of geography as any pipeline from the gas-rich West and Central Asian region has to traverse through ‘hostile’ and ‘high-risk’ territories. All in all, imported gas is coming to us at prices, which make it unaffordable for power generation.

Take Delhi, for instance. It has built some 1,750 MW capacity gas power plants and is ready to do more so that it can steer clear of dirty coal. But the squeeze on domestic gas because of the Reliance Gas’s mess-up (see ‘Powerless and lost’, Down to Earth, August 31, and ‘How India is getting gas and coal policy wrong’, Down to Earth, April 15, 2012) means that plants do not produce energy. The government now wants these to move to imported gas—costing some US $17-20 MMSCD—which would take the cost of each unit to an unaffordable Rs 9-10, as compared to the current Rs 2.90 per unit, using domestic gas.

So, the only way for energy supply costs to remain low is if the country looks the other way when there is corruption in allocation of coal or land or water, or it discounts the price of its raw materials and environment. The hullabaloo over the reports of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) on coal block allocation and the performance of mega power projects must be seen in this light.

For instance, coal was allocated to Reliance’s Sasan power plant for generating captive power. It was argued that this forest-rich coal block in Madhya Pradesh needed to be mined in the interests of cheap power (the accepted bid was for Rs 2.45 per unit). This ‘blind belief’ swayed the Central and state governments into giving away surplus coal-fields and then allowing Reliance to sell this coal to other projects at market prices. It became an open loot of natural resources. To keep costs low, environmental damages are discounted, local people are displaced and livelihoods destroyed. All this must be corrected.

It is clear that power generation costs will only go up. Today, constraints on power generation are blamed on cash-strapped state electricity boards that cannot pay for the power they need to buy in order to supply. In this situation, increasing electricity costs will make the situation further untenable.

We need big ideas for the future. We need to understand how to reduce losses in distribution. We know Indians are prudent (not wasteful) because energy price is high and more importantly, supply is unreliable. But we also know that there are huge leakages—estimated at 25 per cent by the Central Electricity Authority. This needs to be fixed. For this, we need to look at generating energy locally so that distribution costs are brought down, transmission losses are curtailed and recovery from clients made easier. It is here we need to look at the massive opportunity provided by renewable energy, particularly solar. But before that we must understand that new energy sources like solar will work only if we figure out a new business model for generation and supply—and not look for solar to work within the leaking and non-remunerative grid system.

My colleagues at the Centre for Science and Environment have proposed off-grid but interactive systems for rural electrification. In this system, like the German roof-top energy revolution, government would provide feed-in tariff incentives for entrepreneurs to set up local solar energy systems. This energy would be fed through mini grids to users—poor and rich would pay costs. It is important to remember that solar energy costs are decreasing—the latest bids for projects put the price at Rs 7 per unit. This is still more than the price of coal- or gas- based power. But while costs of coal and gas will only go up, solar can and will come down.

Energy supply could be decentralised because demand is also decentralised. There could be a revolution in the making. But only if we see the light in the tunnel.

Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.

  • Dear Ms. Sunita Narain: I

    Dear Ms. Sunita Narain: I would like to highlight only one point here and that is about proposal of your CSE colleagues on off-grid but interactive rural electrification. In my strong view and in long-term perspective, no such power source should be off-grid. There has to be a limit of decentralization of energy supply. Generation of power, be it solar or wind, must operate on the principle of economies of scale. Otherwise these systems are bound to fail once government support or subsidy is taken away. As you stated that solar energy costs are going to decrease further, the same will happen with feed-in tariffs. Therefore, suitable minimum size is must for self-sustenance of these systems. And only renewable energy market, which is yet to be matured and still receives government support, will decide the economies of scale. Until then, we need to be cautious in our approaches. In fact, I would request CSE to take a research in this regard which could elaborate economies of scale of different renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, biomass in fully developed renewable energy market, where financial support from the government is nil. In my view this is very important for the future of renewable energy in our country. Therefore and also in long-term perspective, I tend to disagree with going off-grid to power solution. Rather I would say - Growing grid (by connecting all self-sustainable power sources) to power solution Sincerely yours K D Bhardwaj

    Posted by: Anonymous | 3 years ago | Reply
  • We should not read too much

    We should not read too much for one bid for 5MW solar power, all other bids were higher than Rs 7 per unit. We can of course expect the solar to come down with economies of scale, but the difference between Rs 3 and 7 is too large to be bridged. An additional consideration is transmission grids built for large base load generation are not suitable for intermittent sources. No wonder the electricity prices in Germany which has a large solar capacity is highest in Europe. There is additional cost for even mini grids which are again utilized only for few hours of the day. Finally rural electrification is only a small part of the electricity requirement. the solar offers no solution for 90% of the requirement relating to industry, traction, commercial and agricultural loads. So do decentralised but not with a mini grid, as later we will connect many such mini grids and call it a district grid, then a state grid and so on with a view to provide reliable power. We should exploit solar power to its full potential and along with it couple the sources which can be switched on and off quickly say gas. Solar has huge potential to save fuel but it can not be a solution in itself.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 3 years ago | Reply
  • Nice article.. but reading

    Nice article.. but reading the comments by S. Thakur.. gives a different viewpoint. It seems Solar power is still not very feasible . it seems a long way

    Posted by: Anonymous | 3 years ago | Reply
  • In Kerala, a massive project

    In Kerala, a massive project for 10,000 households with solar power is launched recently. These are off-grid (with battery). The cost is Rs 2.5 lacs per household and Rs 1.2 lacs is given as subsidy. It would be great, once implemented. But, it could have been grid connected with Purchase of Power Agreement with KSEB at Rs. 8 per unit, so as to get the investment repaid to the customers. In grid-connectivity, the batteries could also be avoided - which is another environmental threat at the end of its life cycle.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 3 years ago | Reply
  • We are on the ground

    We are on the ground currently implementing rural electrification mini-grids in remote off-grid areas of Bihar. We have already executed 20 sites, supplying power to telecom towers and are in the process of extending the same to village households and commercial establishments. I do not agree that we have to depend on central grid for rural electrification. 1) The load centers are few and far between for any advantages of load balancing to be effective. So, what will you do? Keep the load balancing center for say 1 MW with 10 load centers of 100KW each in a spread of say 10 Sq KM? That is very difficult and impractical. 2) The loads are so sporadic - to keep a live connection that balances against load patterns is very difficult. 3) With urbanization, these loads are also depleting, as people move out of villages. 4) What is the point in generating centrally and transmitting with so much of transmission loss, particularly when the consumption per load center is low. So, we are betting on de-centralized plants, along with Rockefeller foundation, Tara, etc, under a program called SPEED.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 3 years ago | Reply
  • Dear Mr. Bhardwaj, I would

    Dear Mr. Bhardwaj, I would like to answer your question in part. I have worked in the solar industry in India and abroad, for 14 plus years. Based on this, I can answer your question about the economies of scale for solar, but not authoritatively for the other sources. The "economic scale" at which solar can be measured with a metric common to other sources of energy: Levelized Cost of Energy, or LCOE. Please note that the LCOE includes the return to the user / investor (discount rate) as a cost and hence the discount rate is a key input. According to my calculations, solar LCOE for a 15% discount rate for a 50 kW project is about 10 Rs/kWh, when a 2-3 hours worth of energy storage and replacement is considered. If no energy storage is considered, e.g. solar sync'ed with the grid or a large DG set, the LCOE should be well below 9 Rs/kWh. This means that on-site solar on the rooftop is cost competitive TODAY in places like Agra etc, where people pay peak price ~ 9 Rs/kWh. For off-grid areas, it is still reasonably cost-competitive: the alternative is generally diesel-generated electricity, which, even at the 100 kVA scale costs above 11 Rs/kWh. Finally, although Indians do not want to see high prices of energy, as the above article points out, non-solar, conventional sources a) would only go up from current price levels, and b) externalize or ignore many of the concomitant prices. Hence, I submit that solar a) is cost competitive today in many cities and markets, and b) will continue to get cheaper over time and therefore more cost competitive. Finally, we cannot really compare not having electricity to having electricity, as is true for most of the off-grid decentralized projects that can be conceived. Regards AD

    Posted by: Anonymous | 3 years ago | Reply
  • Totally decentralized

    Totally decentralized off-grid solar electricity generation is possible, cheap and economical. We have been doing it for 22 years at Sholai School, Centre for Learning, Organic Agriculture and Appropriate Technology, Kodaikanal, TN. We have no connection to the TN Electricity Board and even though, in the hills, we have only 205 days of sun, our system works well because 1. we have a small pico-hydro electric plant as back-up during cloudy weather and greater loads and 2. as Indians we ARE abstemious. (Point already made by Sunita). At Sholai we never have load-shedding nor power-cuts. The introduction of low wattage halogen, CFL and more recently LED lamps, has been helpful. Ours are not bullock-cart technologies but state-of-the-Art. It is a pity that reasonably priced Inverters nowadays are 60% efficient which 20 years ago were 93% efficient.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 3 years ago | Reply
  • Dear AD: Thank you so much

    Dear AD: Thank you so much for providing insights into the economies of scale w.r.t solar power. 9-10 Rs/kWh looks pretty high by the way. That clearly means we have to go bigger. Also being non-perennial (depends upon sun) source of power, it has to offer more than just being cost-competitive. That means, it should be much cheaper. Aside from the above, I have a serious objection to your argument that "we cannot really compare not having electricity to having electricity" - It is like saying something is better than nothing. To me, it seems like adopting "JUGAD-based", ad hoc, and short-term approach. Such approach is good only for the short-term but in our country, it tends to become permanent. Therefore, I understand this approach for few isolated, inaccessible, remote, and far-off places but if we are we going to tackle rural electrification this way, it is a wrong approach. Our government should have a grand vision and plan of connecting each and every house to the grid, providing 24X7 quality power. The world is moving to smart grids!! There are discussions on developing regional grids connecting several countries. Power source can be any, be it solar, wind, biomass, or hydro. But we must plan to have all these sources grid connected. And this is rapidly possible only if we have bigger renewable energy establishments. I want all major industrial groups to invest heavily into renewable energy establishments. In fact whole country should be divided in zones and then each zone should be allocated to one particular establishment of course through bidding. And all such renewable energy establishments will be part of one common grid. If we go for off-grid solutions in a big way with so many independent small installations, of course it is good for the rural community for the time-being, but then the government will think their job of rural electrification is done. In the long-term, development will become slow in these areas, as these off-grid renewable energy solutions do not really cater to industrial/infrastructure development requirements as someone pointed out in his comments earlier. I hope you understand my point and push the government for grid-based rural electrification in long-term. With best wishes K D Bhardwaj

    Posted by: Anonymous | 3 years ago | Reply
  • Dear Madam Sunita ji,

    Dear Madam Sunita ji, I have gone through your efforts through extreta matters,really it a very positive step towards water security in India.It is a very efficient work to save our plannet Earth.Thanks and regards.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 3 years ago | Reply
  • By understanding the present

    By understanding the present SWOT of the power generation and management, it is clear that there exists wide gap between the demand and availability. Knowing the availability, limitations and impact on the health of the people & environment of the raw materials like: water, fossil fuel, radioactive material etc., required for power generation, attention should be drawn towards the sue of non-conventional source of energies like: Wind, Solar, Biogas etc. Most of them are tested and in use to small extent. Based on the advantages SOLAR source sold be used to generate power at all levels like: Individual, Community, Industry, and others. The need of the hour is to produce the require systems with effectiveness in terms of cost and power generation. The Solar source is abundant and freely available.In only needs awareness, concern and commitment by all the stakeholders to make it as a MISSION.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 3 years ago | Reply
  • The concept of the local

    The concept of the local solution is not new. Vickers, global electrification pioneers, had recommended a distributed network of small hydro-power plants in its report during the First Plan. This was shot down in favour of large dams feeding giant hydel and thermal plants, ostensibly to cover wider regions at a faster pace, under centralised management control. The flip side is that there are lines running several Kilometers to feed a few Kilowatts, beside several other inefficiencies. Despite a fairly high percentage of our land connected to the grid, capacity upgrades as well as electrification projects for certain 'difficult-to-connect' pockets like coastal islets, dense forests, mountainous terrain, desert or fallow regions are stuck for sanctions for a number of reasons. Line losses are effected by technology limitations as well as poor maintenance bundled by bureacracy as well as spponsored thefts. Further, huge wasteful investments are made at the regional level in standby DG Sets, UPS systems and the like. A scatterring of solar photovoltaic systems span our country but a lot remains to be done to run them permanently. Often, SEBs and SNAs have installed several thousand solar streetlights in remote villages without even bothering to send a single person to endure their continued working. NGOs and celebrities patronising them have donated several thousand solar lanterns - often with public money - without addresing the need for matched solar panels and servicing the batteries. On the other hand, the awareness and resource picture is far brighter. Electrical generating equipment and systems are easily available in the market. Technologies as well as engineering skills are availed easily. A slew of renewable energy equipment and systems are also available. Enginering Colleges have long penetrated the rural countryside. The microPower Initiative encourages their deployment by advisory as well as design-development services. Overall prosperity and education now make it feasible for Panchayats and even village residents to fund and develop their 'local grids' notwithstanding local grids. Unless local-level initiatives are encouraged, people will forever lie in wait of a central sanction to see lights in their homes. Such initiatives can also arrest urban migration by developing local power/energy entrepreneurs from the local Govt School and Engg College graduates, as has been initiated by the KMCT's Entrepreneurship Development Program in the Vasai-Virar belt of Maharashtra. Initiatives are needed from many more sections of society to drive any sensible growth or development. Even countries like Mexico appreciate the concept of smart grids that serve multifold needs via multifold technical and commercial solutions. It is time to wake up to the bright new realities.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 3 years ago | Reply
  • In many cities in India like

    In many cities in India like Bangalore, electrical connection is provided to houses, apartments and commercial buildings on the condition that solar energy also shall be used as and when appropriate. Water heaters are essentially to be solar devises. Chennai also is giving much importance to solar power devices. In a building, there can be many private rooms which can use electricity from the grid but common rooms like sit-outs, porticoes and dining rooms must essentially use solar power. That is the condition on which new electricity connections are nowadays being given. Solar panels placed on roofs are becoming standard in many Indian cities. But solar power is suitable for light devices only and cannot be depended on for industrial productions which need continuous electricity flow at undiminished, un-fluctuating strength and voltage. Solar power can be used only for lighting bulbs, powering water heaters, lighting up basements and car sheds, etc, but cannot be used for running kitchen grinders, water pumps, ventilation fans or air conditioners. Solar cells would provide power only during shiny days, and during clouded and rainy days, people will have to switch entirely to electrical power. Moreover, almost all Indian states have continuously blowing dusty winds and the dust settling on Photo Voltaic Panels would make the solar power source ineffective in no time. In the present circumstances they can only supplement electrical power but cannot substitute it. Solar panels are also costly as they are now being imported from foreign countries. Manufacture of Poly Vinyl Carbonate used for assembling solar panels needs generation and accumulation of the toxic waste Silicon Tetra Fluoride which many countries in the world are reluctant to allow produced in their countries for the reason that it will eventually reach water streams and kill people, taking its time. Countries with loose environmental and ecological regulations alone are now in a position to manufacture Poly Vinyl Carbonate in a massive scale. China is such a country which puts more weight on massive gross production and revenue from export than on caring for peopleÔÇÖs health and safety. Consequently China is the country where PVC is available at the cheapest rates and almost all solar panels used in India arrives from China. The more solar power is planned to be tapped in a country to replace hydro-electric and nuclear power, the more use of solar panels will be necessitated. Since more and more countries are becoming acutely conscious of toxic industrial pollutants creating health hazards among their people, they will only turn to banning production Silicon Tetra Fluoride. Availability of STF and therefore that of PVC is evidently unsure of in the future. Even non-caring countries like China will have to go forward in environmental policies. Unfortunately, the scientific world has not yet come up with something to substitute Silicon Tetra Fluoride in solar panel production.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 3 years ago | Reply
  • People generally complain

    People generally complain about power plants being built in their locality even though power is needed for running industries, producing goods and providing employment for the multiplying population. Except from increasing the production capacity of existing power plants, government cannot go on much in the matter of generating more power because new plants will become practically unable to be built due to peopleÔÇÖs resistance. Restoring the water-retaining capacity of hydro-electric dams by regular dredging and sand and silt removal is the only way left before the authorities. It would also bring enough sand for construction purposes without depleting sand in the rivers eventually killing these rivers. Even though the expenses for regular sand and silt removal from dams would be enormous, it is the only available option left before the authorities to keep dams fully functional. Every grain of sand washed away by rain from mountains and from the land finally reaches these obstacles called dams which we built across rivers and remains there, diminishing further the water storage capacity of dams. Because this de-silting was not done, their storage capacity dwindled steadily through years and is now only a mere 2 or 3 percent of their original capacity at the time of their commissioning. Therefore there is no wonder the numerous hydro-electric projects in India cannot supply their intended power for the country. If these dams were de-silted regularly, there would have been no need at all for building nuclear reactors or thermal plants. If we ask the government how many times were these dams de-silted, they would answer that they were de-silted never. How can this happen when there are so many government agencies to monitor the functioning of dams? Even though hundreds of power ministers and electricity board chairmen have issued hundred thousands of press releases in the past, not one of them concerned the urgent need for de-silting rivers. So, it is assumed, not one among the authorities and bureaucrats of India is concerned about generating more power for people in the least-ecologically damaging way but they all are parts of a decades-old plot to sell this country to the worldÔÇÖs most cunning flock of energy barons, whether it is Canadian, Russian or French. So, the energy problem in India is governmentÔÇÖs own creation, which a corrupt government created for the sole purpose of building massive nuclear plants and pocketing money. Not de-silting dams for 50 years was their fault. Of the thousands of power engineers and bureaucrats India pay salary for, not one among them insisted that silt removal from dams is mandatory and without doing it, power generation cannot go on. It took 50 yearsÔÇÖ cunning to create this situation. It is not laziness or neglect of officers that led to this situation of power crisis but cleverly-calculated strategy and tactics involving decades of advanced planning by world power brokers to prepare way for nuclear power.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 3 years ago | Reply
  • Nearly 60 crore Indians live

    Nearly 60 crore Indians live in villages with no electricity. The idea of a power grid supplying electricity is totally unknown to them. Oil lamps, candles and fire wood continue to light up their homes and power their kitchens. In 2011, Indian authorities predicted that India would become power surplus in 2015, based on their assumption that coal production in India would be doubled by then which never happened. This setback was not because India did not have huge coal deposits or having no advanced technology to extract them. India does have one of the largest coal deposits in the world and does have an advanced technology to extract it but the bulk of Indian coal deposits are of inferior quality, after the privates having looted everything good. The Indians are influenced and forced by the worldÔÇÖs large energy sellers to depend more on nuclear power so that India could be made to rely more on foreign countries to make its energy production possible. The new turn of events following the blowing away of a few nuclear reactors in some countries, especially in technologically advanced countries, and the new wave of public protests against nuclear reactors in general dampened their enthusiasm, especially after the rising public protest against nuclear reactors in India. So now, 4 years after that prediction India remains electricity-short with all states in India crying for power. 50 crore Indians going without power was a wild dream a few years ago but now that it has actually happened once, it can happen again a number of times. Because atomic energy was declared as the desirable source of power in the future, India discouraged development of other rural energy sources such as gases produced from cow dung, etc, which is in plenty in India. Methane from cow dung could have been trapped and used to light up and cook food in homes locally or large dairies could have been set up attached to power stations. Instead of producing and distributing energy locally from locally available materials, India turned to producing electricity massively at one or two places and distributing it to dozens of distant states by building elaborate grid systems. Not only methane gas from cow dung but that from vegetable waste and rubbish also could have been well made use of in villages for producing energy. Not only would have the villages become energy sufficient locally but the power grids would also have become smaller to build and easier to manage. Effluents of rubber cultivators in Kerala offered excellent opportunities for authorities there to develop an energy source to meet 40% of that stateÔÇÖs power requirements but, misled by dubious temptations of nuclear energy managers, they decided to rely on power from the upcoming Koodankulam Nuclear Reactor in Tamil Nadu in the future, and waived away any suggestion of turning rubber processing effluents into electrical power. Not energy production, but construction profits are the prime motive of Indian authorities.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 3 years ago | Reply
  • India has built her power

    India has built her power generating stations in remote areas of the country and hauls this collected power through enormous transmission grids to other remote parts of the country, resulting in the unaffordable loss of 35% of the electricity during transmission. Since these various power grids remain inter-connected, a small failure in anywhere in this vast distribution network leads to collapse of the whole grid structure. Since power authorities think big and spend big, they did not encourage local power generation. Even where power is generated locally, it is directed to the network, instead of allowed to be used locally, creating no way to avoid power loss during transmission. Cost of this loss of power during transmission would have been more than enough to subsidize local production and breaking even small units using alternate power sources. Power authorities did not think about it for quarter of a century and suddenly tells the nation that due to power shortage the countryÔÇÖs economy is failing. It was only because they always thought big that the power authorities built only mega projects which needed elaborate grids for transmission. Had these generating centres been made scattered throughout the country and the power generated there used locally, statistics show that, India would have had 35% more power available to be used. Even the power ministry of India admits to a moderate 25% loss during transmission. It is when they fear there is an actual 50% loss during transmission that they would admit a 25% loss.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 3 years ago | Reply
  • 2100 Kilo Watt Hours of

    2100 Kilo Watt Hours of electricity can be produced from a tonne of rubbish if skillfully used. In Britain alone, 40 million tonnes of rubbish are left to decay in vacant lots. Using half this rubbish would produce enough electricity to meet all the electrical needs of the world, making oil, gas, coal and nuclear resources redundant. Rubbish in cities contains biogenic waste such as food, vegetables and meat and non-biogenic waste such as plastic and paper. When they burn or are processed, non-biogenic waste produces more heat and produces more electricity. Thus plastics are an ideal source of renewable energy. Due to liberal use of plastics and their finally reaching rubbish heaps, the Heat Content per Kilogramme of municipal waste is increasing nowadays, compared to that of a few years back. Producers of electricity from rubbish consider this an ideal situation to break even their business. Mixing non-biogenic waste with biogenic is the method for obtaining ideal raw material because when mixed thus, the former burns more fiercely. City rubbish is becoming a more viable fuel for producing electricity. One tonne of paper waste would have more than six million British Thermal Units of heat content whereas plastic has twenty million Btu. Mixing enhances the heat content of one. Using Refuse-Derived Fuel is an ideal way of producing electricity without damaging much our environment. When rubbish is used as Refuse-Derived Fuel for electricity, harmful gases cease to emanate from the site, polluted liquids cease to seep into below-ground water flows and mosquitoes and flies cease to propagate in that place. Though the cost of setting up the plant would be nearly four times higher than that of setting up a conventional power plant, the benefit of lesser harm to the environment would handsomely compensate the higher cost. But one thing is sure. Once the plant is broken even, it would be cheap electricity that it produces. Clearing prime city sites of rubbish, making them available as real estate, the possibility of reducing electricity bills and escaping from power cuts is what motivates many city administrations in setting up plants for making electricity from rubbish. Many city administrations just turn Refuse-Derived Fuel into pellet form and sell them for money to energy producers who badly need them, without bothering to setting up generating plants and running them. Most often power plants of this type would not require more than a quarter area of the rubbish disposal site to sit and the land thus released would be sold by the city for development which itself would bring more than enough money to set up the plant. The residual vitrified slag which is much sought after by road contractors for filling purposes also is sold at bargain price. Considering the fact that the raw material for the plant is free and the city is not paying any money to citizens for producing rubbish, the plant is profitable anyway for the city administration.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 3 years ago | Reply
  • An entirely new point of

    An entirely new point of view! I hope its practical and cost effective to desilt the dams--atleast near the dam walls. If ways and means to effectively do this are found, we will be killing two birds with one stone.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 3 years ago | Reply
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