Home > Uncategorized > Sunita Narain gives food for thought

Sunita Narain gives food for thought

One, to rebuild the energy systems of the world, with massive investment in new technologies like renewable distributed systems, which reduce the cost of transmission, reduce losses and make societies more resilient. Today, energy-rich and abundant societies are the cause of the greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere, which threaten our world.

Two, to massively invest in rebuilding mobility systems for the new world. In other words, spending on railways, not on airways and on city buses and metros, not on sops for the car industry. This is a tough choice for governments, who have for too long subsidised private mobility …

Third, to spend on urban environmental infrastructure — from clean drinking water, to sewage and garbage disposal and housing for all. But this is where governments must learn the most, not to build infrastructure that is built on the dreams of others

Fourthly, and most critically in India, we will need a review of our economic practices, where it matters the most — in agriculture and forestry. We will have to recognise that the bulk of our country, even in the future, will continue to live in rural areas. (via Sunita Narain: Looking for a new deal).

This agenda I like …

Basically, items number 1, 2, 3 are inter related. A 10 acre plot can become a 5 megawatt power plant which will use a mix of solar energy, wind power, bio-mass and sewage, jatropha seeds, steam power to generate 5 MW of power. Such an integrated power system will also lower temperatures by about 2-4 degrees centigrade in the vicinity. Transmission and distribution losses will be minimal. Such a plant will come up for about Rs.10 crores – which is what a coal power plant will come for.


This kind of power system will also generate about 5000 tons of organic compost for agricultural use – which will explode agricultural yields. This will not require any imported technology, materials, design, machinery, equipment – but reduce fossil fuel and oil consumption by a significant amount.

Franchise this technology

This technology can be franchised to 10,000 villages and town in India – which completely solve India’s power shortages. Electric vehicles will become a reality.

Why does India not go with this …

Since this does not have the Western stamp of approval, our English speaking intelligentsia, our bureaucracy, our Big Business will block such a system from moving ahead. Of course, this model has a minimal role for Big Business – which will again come in the way.

The one thing …

It will not require are massive investments. In fact, as this model proliferates, India’s frugal engineering will come into play – and will possibly reduce these costs by 50%. This is the only one place where I disagree with …

Sunita Narain

Is the same woman who took on Pepsi and Coke on pesticide controversy.

Whatta woman!!

Categories: Uncategorized
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  1. July 13, 2009 at 3:13 pm

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