Archive for November, 2017


China: The super giant in power projects!!

China has become a global energy giant, over taking all other countries including USA!! The China Energy Investment Corp. recently entered West Virginia with a whooping US$ 84 billion MoU …..shale gas, power and other chemical projects are in its kitty now. China Energy is nascent formed by the merger of coal and utilities. This company has a work force of 32600 people…four times bigger than US coal based power company. Who is great. It is not leaving any energy source. On the geothermal front… the entire Himalayan Geothermal belt is being explored and a new power plant at Langju, just near Puga across the China boarder started operating recently. Hydropower is being developed in a big way over the Brahmaputra. India lost Puga for ever. The Indian army could have saved millions of barrels oil and the glaciers could have been saved had India harnessed the geothermal power at Puga and Chummathang. India slept over this project for years in spite of the fact the potential of this site was well projected to the army as well as to the ministry and the local governments. This site would have supplied uninterrupted pollution free electricity ( with baseload supply) to the entire northern belt and saved the Himalayan glaciers. The silk road is going to be supported largely by geothermal across the Himalayas. The International Geothermal Association held one of its Board meetings in Puga. Top scientists from Iceland, New Zealand, Japan, Germany, Russia, Indonesia, and Ethiopia visited this site during the Board Meeting and evaluated its potential. They held meetings with the local power minister who inaugurated the Board meet. India is gifted with water and power but priorities are misplaced. For the last two decade or more power and water situations remained the same…..floods every year, electricity shortage and droughts. Indians have resilience year after year that keeps the country going……but how long? Diverting the rivers to save water and enhancing irrigation, control floods, increase food export to GCC countries under VWT scheme…….there are several things Indians are capable of executing:- Provided the right people are placed at the right place!. China is able to divert rivers by boring tunnel at 5000 m elevation! We are still wondering how to link rivers(!) while countries are looking at sea beds to connect cities. Decades ago, India was over China in developmental activities. Now China power company has become global…….executing large infrastructure projects and creating employment. There, one man passes the policy/law and the rest execute. In future, not oil or gas but water is going to dictate the power of a country. Now geothermal energy is becoming a source to provide food security to countries. Countries around the Red Sea are looking at desalinated water using geothermal energy as the main source to support food production. Besides saving oil and gas and Carbon dioxide, the countries can drastically reduce food imports, move away from VWT and be food secured. Perhaps China, surplus in water resources, may find it much easier to import soya from Brazil and save its water bank! All the GCC countries are going to be highly water stressed in future as all the aquifers in GCC countries are trans-boundary in nature. There is a competitor for agriculture that requires water……power!!. Power sector compete with agricultural sector for water.
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 of Sri Lanka!! In 2016, 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 too 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). Apparently, there is a nexus between water-energy and food. Food is going to dictate the countries’ supremacy and not oil. For ample food to grow, water is essential and since the fresh waters resources are limited, cheap energy plays a role of generating fresh water from the sea. This relationship is strong. All the countries have sufficient energy from the Earth and it is upto us to utilize it to secure our daily bread. Wars for water can be mitigated !!!!