Energy- or the absence of energy- is in the news all the time. Crude oil prices going up or down, gas discovery off India’s shores, coal shortage, protests over a nuclear plant, power cuts in different parts of the country – all make it to the headlines. On any given day, there is a conference on “Energy” or “Power” happening in some corner of the country.
To state the obvious, energy is vital for a nation’s development and security. There is a direct and even symbiotic correlation between a country’s GDP growth and the increase in energy consumption. This is true at least till a certain point is reached on the curve of development.
Without energy in its primary form (coal, oil, gas, biomass) or in its secondary form (electricity) normal life can come to a standstill. Without fuel to transport essential commodities, food shortage will result in a matter of days. If deprived of electricity for a prolonged period, people can take to the streets, as we are witnessing in Pakistan now.
In today’s context, an act of terror need not necessarily be an incident that results in direct loss of life. Any action that disrupts the normal life of the community at large must be treated as a ‘hostile’ act. Thus, it can be argued that a group of workers preventing the mining or movement of coal to a power plant is engaging in an act that harms the energy security of the nation, with the potential to cause serious collateral damage.
So, no discussion on public policy can ignore the ‘energy needs and security’ of the nation. We need to have this on our radar screen all the time.
I hope that, with that impressive build-up, I have you spellbound by now. Through this blog, I propose to share with you some observations and developments on the ‘energy front’, especially those that impact India.
My only credentials are that I have been involved with the ‘power sector’ in India, for 15 years – although as a fringe player. My special area of interest has been ‘distributed generation’; if this bias shows up occasionally, please bear with me.