Sunday, August 22, 2004

India: big on altenergy vision, low on actual commitments

This press release from the information bureau of the Indian government emphasises a need for India to take a lead in alternative energy technology. However it seems to be lacking a solid plan of action other than launching a new postage stamp. The Indian Prime Minister drew a comparison between India's success in information technology and its potential to be a leader in alternative energy on "Rajiv Gandhi Alternative Energy Day". He also notes that crude oil (of which India is a major importer) could be the first natural resource to be exhausted which is something you're not likely to hear from any western leader at the moment.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Talk of India's vision for the future is encouraging, but you don't have to leave the present to find examples of strong and smart leadership on energy - in the span of a few years, India has become a leader in the adoption of natural gas vehicles, converting tens of thousands of auto-rickshaws and buses and taxis and completely blowing by the stagnating US in the process. China isn't far behind, either. I don't know if it's because natural gas isn't renewable or what, but it's puzzling to me that with all the attention going to the present and future energy crises in Asia and the solutions that may be coming 5-10 years down the pipe, there's hardly any mention of the vigorous and successful alternative fuel projects going on in these countries today.

John Atkinson []

3:18 pm, August 23, 2004  
Blogger James said...


Thanks for your comments. It's exactly because natural gas isn't renewable that it isn't considered alternative. It may burn cleaner than gasoline and diesel however some believe we may deplete gas resources at a rate even quicker than oil (see

Policies centred around natural gas aren't going to avoid future energy crises.

4:01 pm, August 23, 2004  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

While natty gas isn't a forever solution, its use could and probably should be much more seriously considered for its potential as a bridge fuel to the theoretical hydrogen economy as much as for its immediate environmental and energy security benefits. The amount of natural gas used in transportation is still a miniscule portion of the total we consume, and we could dramatically increase its use (as India and China are doing) in bus, truck, and taxi fleet applications without significantly tightening the (admittedly already-tight) market. Because of their physical and chemical similarities, there is a natural synergy between natural gas and hydrogen technologies that we could take much more advantage of in trying to work out a path to the hydrogen economy - for instance, as California builds its Hydrogen Highway, stations should dispense not only H2 but CNG and HCNG as well, which would be fairly easy to do and would ensure a reliable market for the Highway in the midst of uncertainty over whether hydrogen FCVs will be ready for prime time by the 2010 target. &c, &c. It's only slightly more than a niche application, but it's a niche application that's probably worth pursuing - and, again, this is increasingly recognized by India and China as they struggle to slow down their increasing oil consumption.

John []

8:56 am, August 25, 2004  

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