Archive for August, 2017


Why loose power when solution is in hand

According to a recent news release by the World Resource Institute, power plants dependent on water for cooling will incur power loss. The shortage of water could be for various factors like droughts, poor monsoon, demand for water > than recharge etc.

Based on the data from the CEA from 2013 to 2016, the power loss due to water shortage is of the order of 14 terawatt-hours (power plants > 600 MWe generation capacity). This amount is more or less equal to the yearly power requirement by Sri Lanka!! In 2016, according to the report, 18 thermal power plants were shut down due to water shortage causing loss of power generation mentioned above. Why thermoelectric plants, the hydro electric power plants incur greater loss due to water shortage. For example the Parli thermal power  plant, as per the CEA data, was shut down for 89 days in 2016 that has an installed capacity of 1380 MWe (generating revenue of the order of US$ 3.1 billion).  There are many such plants listed by the World Resources Institute. Now the question is…….can such shutdowns be avoided? In the world it happens only in India (developed countries) that receives maximum amount of rain fall compared to many cities around the globe. On one side we have floods throwing several thousand cubic meters of water into the sea and the other extreme is drought (due to poor rain fall). The answer is yes………when India can launch rockets carrying several satellites can’t the same talent be utilized to divert water from north to south? When tunnels are built below the sea for road and railways, in the modern technological world is it impossible?? When we think of “hyperloop” transport systems is it not possible to construct tunnels and water ways to divert the water across the country? While we are fortunate to get our yearly quota of rain, just think of the oil rich countries like the Gulf countries on one side and poverty ridden countries like Eritrea for example. Instead of looking for water on the Moon, as reported by a recent news release by Brown University, more effort should be made on generating affordable desalinated water from the sea. When Israel can be food secured in spite of lack of rivers and poor rain fall,  other developed countries should focus on generating fresh water from the sea using energy…..that is free from carbon. This will solve to a large extent power shortages either from thermoelectric plants and hydro power plants. Hydro electric power plants will always generate less power year after year unless the capacity of the dam is maintained. Though it is an expensive affair, it is cheaper than loosing power. In the modern political systems of the world, who wants to loose power!!

Geothermal and gravity power will provide the ultimate solution to reduce GHG emissions and secure the countries with food and water.