There are three things that are happening simultaneously. Cost of extracting petrol is rising, demand for petroleum is rising too with the rise in population and its aspirations and so is CO2. All the three elements have an adverse bearing on the health of earth. Rising population is eating up the limited resources, CO2 is storing the reflected heat of the sun rays and warming the planet and cost of extracting petroleum is driving the fuel cost north ward. Already there are lobbies, NGOs, consumer groups, scientists and governments that have started looking out for alternatives. Debate has been raging between the conservative sections of the society and the progressive thinkers about the future of energy matrix. To put it simply they are arguing about the correct mix of energy cocktail to run the world as it is being run now without of course the resultant pollution. The oil lobby and various governments (developed countries included) insist that renewable energy is still in its infancy and cannot and will not replace the huge river valley hydro power projects or coal based power plants. But the blue sky technology (those techs that are being used to create renewable energy options) supporter trash these claims by citing examples that are increasingly growing in number and ability. Already Denmark is producing 25% of its electricity through wind turbines and many cities in Europe are using solar and wind energy to power their home appliances. Portugal is the latest success story with 25 per cent of its urban residential needs being met by solar energy. Back home TERI (Tata Energy Research Institute) has already launched a n ambitious project “lighting a billion lives”. Under this scheme the institute is providing solar lamps to economically backward families. Thirty thousand families have benefited by 5900 solar lamps. Yet the more you read the more you realise that both the conservatives and the progressives are behaving like extremists. Slowly but surely it is becoming clear that the challenge is to find a golden mean where new renewable sources and green conventional sources (bio fuel, less CO2 emitting coal (clean coal) and fuel batteries) can take care of our needs in the immediate future and then we transcend to a new energy matrix.
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