Friday, January 22, 2010

Blackouts in India?

I had no idea the power demand vs. supply situation was so bad over there. Dig these tidbits.

Jan. 20 (Bloomberg) -- NTPC Ltd., India’s biggest power producer, plans to spend 250 billion rupees ($5.5 billion) building generation plants next fiscal year to reduce blackouts in the nation...

NTPC, generator of a fifth of India’s electricity, needs to accelerate construction of power plants after failing to meet its target for adding capacity this year because of equipment delays.
From the BBC:
Power cuts have dented the image of India's high-tech capital Bangalore, and the blackouts could affect investment in the sector, according to a preliminary report from the global consultancy firm McKinsey.
From LiveMint and the WSJ:
Chandigarh: Underscoring the need to concentrate on energy security and infrastructure development, Union minister of state for external affairs Preneet Kaur on Thursday said the country needs to increase its power generation capacity five-fold to sustain the current growth rate.

“To sustain the current growth and leapfrog in the next decade,the two most important prerequisites that we need to focus on are energy security and development of infrastructure,” Preneet said while addressing a conference on Indo-Gulf organized by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham).
With about three times as many people as the US, the scale of the increases in their power demand is staggering. The US uses about 3.29 terawatts of power at peak demand. Even if India ends up twice as efficient as we are, they'll need about 5 terawatts of power. Renewables won't even make a dent in that.

Renewables also trade space for power - wind and solar need lots and lots of room. India is smaller and more crowded than the US. The room isn't there even if you wanted to move to renewables.

The problem with the CO2 issue is that it's global. Strangling us here in the US will do no good if consumers with 6 times the population (India + China) are trying to expand their production capacities to the tune of terawatts. Even if you accepted that CO2 is a great peril to parts of the globe, there's just no way to stop its growth.

1 comment:

Jeff Burton said...

Long coal.