[Marxism] China Already Has 100 Million Electric Vehicles.

Marla Vijaya kumar marlavk at yahoo.com
Mon Mar 12 10:55:20 MDT 2012

           I am going to give a talk on "The Future of Electrical Power" to a large gathering of 2000 Engineering and Management Students tomorrow in Hyderabad. I am listing a few points from my presentation:
1. 16% of 600 thousand Indian villages, ie., almost a hundred thousand have no electricity.
2. Out of these, 30,000 can not be reached by electrical grids.
3. Almost half of the villages in India have no access to safe drinking water. Many thousands of children are maimed by consuming fluoride contaminated water.
4. A third of the food produced in the country gets spoilt in the hot climate very quickly as there are no cold storage facilities. Even if such a facility exists, it gets supply for hardly 6 hours in a day.
5. Cost of freezing, transporting and storing of milk is very costly and access to a glass of milk for a vast majority of children is unthinkable.
6. Storage and transportation of vaccines is a top priority for the tottering health mission.
7. Air conditioning of critical care wards in hospitals is not possible with unreliable grid supply (available for a maximum of 6 hrs a day, provided it does not rain. If it rains, the grid trips)
8. Use of diesel gensets is way beyond the affordability of many rural institutions.
It is imperative that some sort of a micro-grid has to be built up that uses available energy resources and gives reliable and environmentally benign power to the rural communities. This is the case for most of the third world countries. This is where I am emphasizing about 80-85% overall efficiency, when compared to 30% for central coal fired thermal plants.

I agree that micro-grids do not really help large scale consumers such as aluminum smelters that use hundreds of megawatts of power. But as my experience in BHEL (Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd., a government of India Company that produces Gas and Steam Turbines) shows, most of the industries go for captive power plants below 60 MW. These can be classified under micro-grids. The important target for industrial processes is recovery of low quality waste heat and putting it back into some kind of usage. This will be good business for companies like our BHEL. Further, co-gen really can give much higher efficiencies. But a bit of fine tuning and imaginative usage of wasted energy can really boost up the overall energy utilization.
Vijaya Kumar Marla

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