Loyalties die hard, don’t they.
Eyebrows surely must have been raised when Manmohan Singh appointed the nuclear scientist Anil Kakodkar as the head of a renewable energy mission – and that too, the prestigious National Solar Mission. Nothing wrong with it perhaps from a capability/expertise point of view, just that it does jar a bit from a philosophical perspective.
In a recent speech, Anil batted for both solar and nuclear, the thorium based nuclear. He said solar energy and Thorium have answers for India’s energy needs, while speaking at Indian Institute of Science Alumni Association Science Forum on ‘Sustainable Energy Security for India: Challenges and Options’.
“If we have to meet 5,000 kWh per capita consumption of electricity at an estimated usage of 8 trillion units per year, coal will last only 11 years, where as Uranium and its derivatives will not last beyond 40 years. Sustainability will come with the use of solar energy and Thorium, the latter will last for 170 years. They are the only forms of energy that will meet our needs,” he said. He added that India was one of the few countries that addressed Thorium developments.
Thorium is indeed an interesting feedstock as far as India is concerned. I had a written a couple of effusively eulogistic posts on thorium here and here. Here are posts much better than mine on India and thorium – 1, 2, 3
This is indeed an interesting space to watch. But of course, the question is what will Anil do for the solar industry, as I am sure there are others who can take care of how India pursues the thorium opportunity.