Monday, December 14, 2009

Haves and Have-Nots of Energy Sector”


                                                                   By : S.K.Sood

As per the  newspaper reports, Mr. R.V.Shahi, Power Secretary ,Govt. of India,  has projected  funds requirements to the tune of Rs. 9,00,000 Crores in 10 th and 11 th five year plans for fresh capacity additions and to meet the cost of renovation and modernization of existing electricity transmission and distribution network.


Probably, an equal amount will be spent by state governments and private sector to increase the power generation capacity. Other central governments ministries like Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Ministry of Coal, etc will also be spending huge amounts to meet energy requirements of the people.


My estimate is that we will be spending not less than Rs 50,00, 000 Crores in the next 8-10 years to meet our energy requirements. This is in addition to what will be spent to create infrastructure to transport energy like railways, shipping etc.


After spending such huge amounts what we will be getting? Same power cuts, power thefts, poor quality power, pollution? And will our villages get power and fuels?


 We have been spending about 30 % of our budget to meet the energy requirement. Our import bill for petroleum products has already crossed Rs 80,000 Crores mark.


 A serious look into the whole matter will reveal that we need to take hard decisions on our energy policy, if any. We have to increase our budget substantially for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy technologies. Ministry of Non-conventional Energy Sources and Bureau of Energy Efficiency have to come forward with a concrete plan to reduce dependency on the conventional ways of meeting the demand. 


Presently, how many people are involved in generation, transmission and distribution of electricity, petroleum products, coal etc.?  And in comparison, how many people are engaged in conservation of energy and generation of renewable energy?  Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Technologies can provide jobs with lesser investment.


The fact that remains in the end is - like other walks of life, energy sector also has its "haves" and "have-nots". People propagating energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies belong to the later category. Of-course within the "haves", there are "have-nots" and within "have-nots," there are "haves". I am a pure "have-not" of Energy Sector!



94, Kunjan Nagar, Ph-2,

Hoshangabad Road, Bhopal-462026

 E-mail: Ph. 0755-3132792


Energy Security – Efficiency Vs Capacity Addition


 When we talk of Energy Security, it should cover the entire spectrum of fossil fuels, bio-fuels, renewables, power etc, rather than confining to power sector alone. India imports more than 70% of its oil requirements.


 Wise energy policy creates both healthier economy and healthier environment. But energy policy does not work in isolation. A coherent national approach combining energy, economic and environmental security, reduces the costs, and the risks of importing fossil fuels, and huge amounts of domestic capital.


Both energy and economic policy must share- a least cost, resource-efficient emphasis. The ultimate goal should be an "Industrial Ecosystem", which means an industrial process that minimizes both inputs of energy and materials and outputs of waste products and pollutants.


 The Capacity Addition embodied the myth that economic vitality requires steadily increasing energy consumption, which includes inefficiency and wastage, and particularly so  when Indian economy is three times more energy intensive per unit of output, than most other countries.


Energy Security


Energy Security is better defined as the Nation's ability to sustain adequate, reliable Energy Services, in ways that maximize economic competitiveness and minimize environmental degradation. For Energy Security, the Supply and Demand Side factors need to be tackled simultaneously.


  It appears that more emphasis seems to be given to capacity addition of power sector, Coal & Nuclear, rather than suppressing the demand by adopting more energy efficient equipment, devices, process, technology etc and by opting for stand alone equipment and devices based on renewable sources of energy.




There is an urgent need to put in more effort on suppression of Energy Demand, rather than on increase of supplies and capacity additions. The emphasis has to be on a) increased Research and Development in New Technologies, improved Manufacturing Processes to promote Efficiency in energy utilization and for adoption of cost effective Renewable Sources of Energy b) Allocation of adequate funds in the Five-Year Plan periods for R&D and c) Targeting 5% growth rate of Green Power (Renewable Sources ) in every 5-Year Plan Period for the next 25 years.


Power Plant Ruling Was Not Activism

Daily Views: Editorial - Posted on August 13,2008

In a news article published by The Albany Herald on July 30, Georgia Chamber of Commerce President George Israel expressed his discontent with a decision made by Fulton County Superior Court Judge Thelma Wyatt Cummings Moore, calling her an "activist judge" whose decision to deny Dynegy's Longleaf coal plant would drive up energy costs and stifle economic growth across Georgia for years to come.

Mr. Israel's statements are misleading and couldn't be further from the truth. This plant would have produced 9 million tons of global-warming CO2 pollution each year, equal to the pollution of adding 1.3 million new cars on the road. The Clean Air Act requires that EPD permits for massive new sources of pollution, like the proposed power plant, must limit the amount of all pollutants that are subject to regulation under the Act.

In her decision, Judge Moore simply applied this straightforward rule to carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, recognizing that CO2 fits squarely in the middle of the statutory requirement. All Judge Moore did was enforce a law written by our elected officials.

In contradiction to Mr. Israel's alarmist tone, Georgia can generate more power more quickly by investing the $2 billion cost of the Longleaf Coal Plant in efficiency, solar and wind power and save money without any of the negative drawbacks of continued dependence on coal. Georgia currently ranks 38th in the nation on state spending for energy efficiency programs. Estimates suggest that we could reduce our energy consumption by 30 percent simply by using existing conservation technology and thereby remove the need for this plant. Increasing efficiency is the simplest, cheapest way to meet many of our energy needs.

Where efficiency ends, wind and solar can take over. A wind energy study completed in 2007 by Georgia Tech's Strategic Energy Institute indicates that offshore wind could produce 10,000 megawatts of energy and another potential for 4,000 megawatts in North Georgia. Also, Georgia has so much solar power potential that start up Suniva in Norcross was able to raise $50 million in venture capital earlier this year to build photovoltaic panels.

Where does all this potential get us? Jobs! According to a report from the Blue-Green Alliance, a partnership of the United Steelworkers and the Sierra Club, investing in renewable energy today could create over 16,000 clean, good- paying jobs in Georgia. The jobs potential is way higher than the 100 jobs promised by Dynegy corporation to Early County officials to run the Longleaf coal plant.

In this same article, Georgia Chamber Director of Government Affairs Ryan Mahoney states that no court anywhere in this country has ever ruled that CO2 is regulated. This is completely false. In March of 2007 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Massachusetts vs. EPA that the Environmental Protection Agency not only had the authority to regulate greenhouse gases but furthermore ruled that the agency could not sidestep its authority to regulate greenhouse gases that contribute to global climate change unless it could provide a scientific basis for its refusal. Judge Moore did what she had to do: issue her ruling according to the law of the land, which is the opposite of an activist judge.

When it comes down to it, this Dynegy plant is not about what is best for Georgia. The $2 billion investment in the coal plant is recovered through the rate-payer process of people paying electric bills, which will continue to rise as transportation costs bringing coal into Georgia and mining coal rise.

Dynegy is trying to sell us yesterday's technology at tomorrow's price. Georgians deserve better. We're saddened that the Georgia Chamber of Commerce is willing to miss the opportunity to be a leader in new technology job creation, and chose not to take what is obviously the more fiscally responsible course.

is state director of the Georgia chapter of the Sierra Club.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Utilization of Fly Ash Generated by Thermal Power Plants

The Ministry of Environment & Forests, GOI, issued Notification S.O 2804(E) dated 3-11-2009, amending the earlier Notifications, restricting the excavation of top soil for manufacture of bricks and promoting the utilization of fly ash in the manufacture of building materials and in construction activity within a specified radius of hundred kilometers from coal or lignite based Thermal Power Plants (TPPs)

Failure to Achieve Stipulated100 % Utilization

The latest Notification is necessitated, as the concerned agencies failed to achieve the target of 100% utilization of Fly Ash based products, by 31 st August 2007, stipulated in the original Notification of 1999.

Salient Features of Notification of 3-11-2009

Some of the salient features of the Notification are summarized below:

* The term Fly Ash means and includes all Ash generated such as ESP Ash, Bottom
Ash, Pond
Ash, & Mound Ash,

* Every Construction Agency engaged in the construction of Buildings within a radius
of 100 Kms from TPPs, shall use only Fly Ash based products for construction such
as: Cement or Concrete,Fly ash Bricks or Blocks or Tiles or a combination or
aggregate of them in every construction project.

*It shall be applicable to all Construction Agencies of Central or State or Local

Government and Private or Public Sector and it shall be the responsibility of the
agencies either undertaking
construction or approving the design or both to ensure
compliance and submit Annual Returns to State PCB.

*No Agency, Person or Organization shall, within a radius of 100 Kms of TPP,
undertake construction or approve design for construction of Roads or Flyover
embankments with top soil. The guidelines issued by Indian Roads Congress from
time to time, regarding use of Fly Ash, shall be followed

*No Agency Person or Organization shall, within a radius of 100 Kms of TPP,
undertake or approve or allow Reclamation and Compaction of low lying areas with
soil. Only Fly ash shall be used reclamation and compaction.

*The CPWD, State PWD, Development Authorities, Construction Agencies etc shall
specify the use of Fly Ash and Fly Ash based products in Tender Documents,
Schedules of Specifications, appropriate Standards and Codes of Practices within
four months from the date of issue of the Notification.

Fly Ash Based Products

The particulars of minimum Fly Ash content, by weight, to be used in the products to qualify as "Fly Ash Based Products" are given below:

· Fly Ash Bricks, Blocks, Tiles etc - 50% of Total Inputs

· Clay based Building Materials - 25% of Total raw Materials

· Cement -15% of Total Raw Materials

· Concrete, Mortar& Plaster -Use of PPC or 15% of OPC Content

· Paving Blocks, Tiles, etc - Use of PPC or 15% of OPC Content

Targets for TPPs for Utilization of Fly Ash Generated

All TPPs in operation before the date of issue of the Notification ie 3-11-2009 ,are to achieve the targets of utilization of Fly Ash given below:

At least 50% of Generation in One Year

At least 60% of Generation in Two Years

At least 75% of Generation in Three Years

At least 90% of Generation in Four Years

At least 100% of Generation in Five Years

The New TPPs and, or expansion Units commissioned after the date of issue of the Notification ie 3-11-2009, are to achieve the targets of utilization of Fly Ash within in the period stipulated below from the Date of Commissioning

At least 50% of Generation within One Year

At least 70% of Generation within Two Years

At least 90% of Generation within Three Years

At least100% of Generation within Four Years