Is India on the Brink of Energy-Driven Economic Collapse?

Set aside, for a moment, the foreign policy and political aspects of India's impending crisis of government. Instead, let's turn up the sustainability filter, taking our lead from EnergyDaily from which we provide this excerpt for those of you who have not been following the story:

"Is this an issue on which the government should be brought down?" Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee said at the start of the stormy debate in parliament's 545-seat lower house, which will vote on a trust motion Tuesday...

Mukherjee -- one of the architects of the US-India deal -- said the government was merely trying to "solve our problems of the future," saying it was India's only hope of avoiding a gigantic energy crisis.

Via::Energy Daily, Indian govt makes passionate appeal to save US nuclear deal.

What is at the root of India's crisis? What are the implications for climate action?Personal and corporate impacts.
Power outages are reported to be increasingly common in India, and projected to worsen. The impacts of power outages are more than just an inconvenience in metropolitan areas. For example, corporate operations and services outsourced to India from elsewhere will gradually become less reliable and more costly, threatening India's economic growth engine as well as the profitability of international corporations.

Worsening electricity shortages on the horizon.
The Indian government is expecting internal coal resources to last only 40 years; and, hydro power options are limited. What's left, at least according to how this is being framed in most western media outlets, is the nuclear option, which is perceived as having great potential.

Nuclear energy at India's 17 existing reactors currently account for less than four percent of power generation capacity of around 145,000 megawatts.

Alternative paths are conspicuously missing.
No mention is made of conservation, renewable energy, distributed power, combined heat & power (CHP), carbon sequestration, etc.

Now let's talk foreign policy. How would the nuclear deal have flown if conditioned with a requirement that both parties (India and USA) join in supporting climate action? Could not the "win-win" aspect have changed the atmosphere entirely, allowing India the chance to tip world events favorably?

If the pot were sweetened with US technological and economic support for renewable energy development in India?

If the agreement included incentives to leverage the engineering talents of both the US and India to take conservation of energy to the brink?

Image credit::Rediff India Abroad, US President George W Bush with External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Indian Ambassador Ronen Sen., - Jay Mandal

Earlier TreeHugger coverage of "non-nuclear" options in India
Renewable Energy Begun to be Embraced by India’s Hindu Temples ...
Jatropha Production Expanded in India, Hindustan Petroleum to ...
Renewable Energy, Solar Power, Key to India’s New Climate Plan ...

Tags: Energy | India | Nuclear Power

WHAT'S HOT ON FACEBOOK

treehugger slideshows