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Friday, June 27, 2008

Energy security and reduction of greenhouse gases for cleaner environment – Most challenging issues of present day:



Energy security and reduction of greenhouse gases for cleaner environment – Most challenging issues of present day:

It has become essential to every nation to access to cheap energy for their smooth functioning and upliftment of their economies. However, the uneven distribution of energy supplies among all the nations and the critical need for energy has led to significant vulnerabilities. Global energy security has become synonym to political stability and good administration.

Political instability of several energy producing countries, the manipulation of energy supplies, the competition over energy sources, attacks on supply infrastructure and accidents and natural disasters are the threat to energy security of any nation. It is also the limited supplies of the most common forms of primary energy, i.e. Oil and Gas that changes perceptions on this topic.

Although plenty of coal, up to about more than 200 years worth, is readily available, almost all over the world, coal is not the fossil fuel of choice for many more advanced countries because of its highly polluting nature. The potential need to change our perception on primary energy sources in the foreseeable future and implementation of new technology, are the solution of the energy security question. Improper planning and ineffective strategies at macro level may lead to higher energy prices, more limited access to sources of energy, competitions and political troubles, which in turn make the threat even larger, as energy plays an important role in the national security of any given country.

One of the leading threats to energy security is the significant increase in energy prices all over the world. Long term measures to increase energy security lies on reducing dependence on any one source of imported energy, increasing the number of sources of energy and suppliers. Greater investment in native renewable energy technologies and energy conservation are envisaged in many of the developed nations. Certainly, every nation’s ultimate goal is to power their entire country with renewable green energy such as solar, wind, and other renewable sources. However, our current technology is not to the point where this would be affordable. Solar and wind do not currently have the energy density to supply us with all the power we need.

Therefore, under the above scenario, on broader sense, two technologies may be very useful and relevant, they are:

(i) Nuclear power, and

(ii) Green-coal power (Clean coal technology).

Nations of developed and emerging economies should think of energy mix of above two technologies in a big way to achieve fair amount of energy security. The raw materials for the above energy mix are present, almost, world over. The cost of power generated by above two technologies and energy mix is also reasonable and within reach of the general population and industries. After all, nuclear power is our one of the best option for clean energy today. In the above energy mix, Hydro-power may also be included, wherever available.

With the huge advances in technology in recent years, any shortcomings we face for the above two mix of energy, can be sorted out easily. Further, dependence on agricultural based biofuel can also be reduced, enhancing chances of availability of more food, thereby reducing poverty.

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