Genesis Morocco: High Energy Thursday: Will India win the green race?


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Genesis Morocco

Project Genesis is a strategic sustainable development framework for Morocco to translate from being a net importer of energy and a country facing water shortage issues, into the number one producer both of clean renewable energy and water in the region.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008    <<Home

High Energy Thursday: Will India win the green race?








Who’s benefiting from the race to pursue green power alternatives? You might think that the most technologically advanced countries in the world would be seizing the upper hand, dominating the market. And you might be wrong.

India is home to one of the world’s leading manufacturers of wind turbines, and its business has been growing by leaps and bounds, as Hiral Vora writes. And far from being under the thumb of some Western company, Suzlon actually owns operations in the United States, China and Europe. The company’s targeting further expansion in Europe and China, too.

One might have expected this story to come out of the United States, Germany or Japan. But even though most of India’s economic sword is still blunt and unfinished, the tip comes to a very sharp point. It’s not the only developing country where this is true, either. If wealthy countries wait any longer to compete in green industries - industries in which they could have had a technological advantage - it could be too late.
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Earlier this week the company also announced that it is moving a fair number of senior executives from Pune to the Netherlands to facilitate further expansion into European markets. Suzlon is now one of the top 5 wind power companies in the world with ambitions to rise even higher.
Posted by: Gautam Shah — 31 January 2008 7:49 am

Although Suzlon is an Indian company, it would be wrong to say that we are the leading light in green technologies.

We have not found a viable alternative for fossil fuels yet. Although there are efforts to bring in biodiesel and ethanol into the mainstream, there are serious doubts on the viability and scalability of these fuels.

(From India)
Posted by: Yeluru Amar — 31 January 2008 10:59 am

Its true that Suzlon is leading the efforts in wind energy and there are efforts to harness green fuels. But some of these developments are begining to show their effect on India’s food supply and prices.

Demand for biodiesel crops across the world has increased the strain on the already limited supply of food grain. Farmers in emerging countries are cultivating biodiesel crops ‘instead’ of food crops, and the resulting reduction in supply has increased food grain prices.

Emerging countries should strive to create self sufficiency of food crops before ‘displacing’ them for biodiesel, since irrigated land availability is scarce. This calls for improved cultivation techniques to improve productivity and ways to cultivate biodiesel crops in semi-arid and arid areas.
Posted by: Kishore Jayaram — 01 February 2008 7:12 am

One is not surprised by India’s “sharp point” if they work with in-house and offshore Indian IT consultants. But the US also has its success stories, like FirstSolar in Phoenix, a tellurium-based solar panel/semiconductor manufacturer with plants in Germany (currently the main consumers) [and] new plants coming on line in southeast Asia. I’m pulling for wind and solar over biofuels for some of the same reasons mentioned by contributors above. And I’m still waiting for a stylish American electric car!
Posted by: Caliann Lum — 01 February 2008 4:59 pm

I wouldn’t want to underestimate Indian engineering, but as Yeluru Amar and Kishore Jayaram have implied, there won’t be any simple or ultimate answers to energy needs. Rather, it seems that meeting future needs will require ongoing and diligent research in a number of alternative energy forms. Some companies and countries will achieve comparative advantages in efficiency over time - as Japan has done in recent years - but no country will ever be able to sit back and relax in their efforts. Solutions will come from private and corporate R and D, but governments would be wise to support them with any and all means or incentives imaginable. Universities will also continue to play important roles, and it would seem that America and Europe have considerable leads and advantages academically - partly because they continue to draw much of the finest talent from the rest of the world.

(From Japan)
Posted by: Gary Henscheid — 03 February 2008 7:39 am
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