Potential Solutions to Kerala’s Power Crisis


To be mathematically correct, I have lived only 40% of my life in my home state of Kerala, often called the God’s own country. I was born in a village (villages in Kerala are not really villages any more) called Kombodinjamakkal in central Kerala. Our state (it is more important to be politically correct here than mathematically correct) is plagued by two impending disasters. A looming power crisis because of the angry rain gods scourging the bourgeois for exploiting its hydro electric power for such a long time. The second is the pathetic waste management, all because of the inefficiency of our neighbour and the government to remove the wastes from our backyard!

Kerala Temple Festival
Ayyappan Kavu Ulsavam (Photo credit: beapen)

Why am I getting into this quagmire? Because I am a winner of multiple innocentive challenges and I want to show off. Hey, I am entitled to some self promotion on my blog. This is an attempt to give some lateral thinking perspective (if you will) to these complicated problems. But needless to say that I have no prior experience in this.

OK, let us start with energy or power. I don’t know much about both except that both have the same unit for measurement. Political power has a different unit by the way! I also know that the two easily available, clean energy sources are the sun and the wind. Wind energy is proportional to the cube of wind velocity. (Hey, I seem to know more than I thought). So a wind turbine has to be mounted on a tower for effective functioning and may not be cost effective in Kerala. Besides we don’t have much free space with an exceptionally high population density in spite of being manpower suppliers of the world for well over a decade.

That leaves the energy from the sun. Solar energy is traditionally harvested with photovoltaic cells made out of silicon wafers. We do not produce enough silicon to harvest solar energy. If gold could trap sunlight we could have made use of the gold our housewives have accumulated over the years.

Solar water heaters are effectively being used in Kerala. In my house, we cover the panels of our solar heater to prevent excessive heating of water! Water is abundant enough to trap solar energy too. Is there any way to produce electricity from hot water? Do you think a modified steam turbine would be an answer to our energy woes? Feel free to post your ideas here. Maybe men of power (pun intended) would someday see this and experiment (and implement) with our ideas! When I get some fresh ideas for waste management, I will post it here. Well do you have any?

Watch the video posted below. (Credit: Timothy Sohacki – YouTube )

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