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Power failure

ENERGY OPTIONS IN THE 21ST CENTURY Edited by R N Subudhi Publisher: Ashish Publishing House Price: Rs 250

By Niranjan Subudhi
Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

Shunted coal wagons: mismanage (Credit: Pradip Saha / CSE)WHAT are the alternatives with us to rectify the imbalance in power generation in the future? To date, we have not only failed to generate power optimally from our existing resources, we have also failed to utilise the energy in an efficient manner.

This book says that the situation is so dismal that out of every 100 tonnes of coal mined for the purpose of power generation, only 5 tonnes of energy equivalent of coal is utilised for power for irrigation. The remaining energy equivalent of 95 tonnes of coal is wasted in the process of power generation, transmission and distribution. The use of inefficient pumpsets and faulty irriagtion systems also adds to the wastage.

Both researchers as well as experienced practitioners in the field of energy conservation say that there is enough scope at every stage in the production process to conserve energy. The total loss is colossal and compeletely unjustified. And unaffordable. Theoretical papers in the book take a detailed look at the future prospects of the efficient utilisation of wind energy, geothermal energy and the potential of power generation from biomass. A contribution by an energy consultant on energy management makes the book a complete and useful reference. The most useful paper is a piece on energy audits, top which is of relevance today.

Unfortunately, power distribution has not been dealt with adequately. And there is also a need to discuss the alternatives in much greater detail. Nevertheless, it will be a useful guide for planners and policy makers.

---Niranjan Subudhi works with Sambad, an Oriya daily.

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