India would be the weakest country to slow GW!

by Ginosar  

This is a follow up to my article about India and global Warming:

I selected this NYT article to help you get a better feel how difficult is to achieve anything in India. As I mentioned in my discussion,  governmental control is erratic at best and the ability of state and federal governments to get specific results are very poor. It takes years to put a power plant on line due to corruption, incompetence, and lack of political interest. These are deep, old cultural problems. And coupled with the rapid population growth, demand to higher living standard and energy, would compound the problems that India would be facing. Therefore, India would have little ability, in my opinion, to curtail the rise of its GHG emissions.

India is likely to be the weakest country in the global effort to slow the rise in GW!


India's Woes Reflected in Bid to Restart Old Plant

By VIKAS BAJAJ NYT March 22, 2010

Full article at:

VELDUR, India - "Wherever there is a lamp, there is darkness below it," said Bava Bhalekar, a fisherman and local leader in this village roughly a hundred miles south of Mumbai. "The tragedy is that while our village has this project, we ourselves don't have electricity."

"This project" is the power plant that Enron built.


A decade after Enron withdrew from the project, the Indian government and two Indian companies are promising to bring the plant to full capacity. The tragedy, as Mr. Bhalekar and his fellow villagers see it, is that even after the plant is fully operational, their daily blackouts - now from 3 to 7:30 p.m. - will still occur, with just slightly fewer hours without electricity.


State authorities promise to have the plant running at 100 percent by the end of the month. But, so far, this plant remains a monument not to the problems of Enron, but to India's own corruption, cronyism and weak economic policies - some of the reasons that India remains a perpetual second fiddle to China, its increasingly powerful rival.


For all the progress India has made in information technology and service-sector jobs, the country is still unable to provide reliable power, water, roads and other basic infrastructure to most of its 1.2 billion people. For instance, about 40 percent of the country's population is not connected to the electricity grid.

This energy deficit is also an impediment to development. Here in Maharashtra, India's most industrialized state and the home of its commercial capital, Mumbai, formerly Bombay, the demand for electricity will exceed supply by about 30 percent this year, up from 4.5 percent in 1992.

And if industrial companies that set up here can get electricity, they will pay more for it than elsewhere in the world, according to the Prayas Energy Group, a research organization.


India's slow progress on power has kept some foreign companies away and has led many of them to largely shun the electricity business, in particular. The failure of the Enron plant in 2001, then known as Dabhol Power, was a turning point.

No large power plants have started in Maharashtra since Dabhol.


"Our problem today is power," Ashok Chavan, Maharashtra's chief minister, the equivalent of an American state governor, said late last year when asked about the state's biggest challenges. But he said that his administration would eliminate blackouts that afflict most of the state outside Mumbai within three years.


For villagers here in Veldur, the Enron-built plant's revival - it has been running at below capacity for four years now - is bittersweet. While some people have been hired at the plant as it has ramped up, the lack of reliable electricity means that the ice that the fishermen in the village need to preserve their daily catch has to be trucked in from farther away.


Experts said Mr. Chavan's goal was, like many promises made by Indian policy makers, high rhetoric that is not backed up by real action. State and federal governments reduced red tape in 2003 to help add more generation capacity, but many of those reforms have not been fully put in place.

"These problems, which we have been talking about for the last 10, 15 years, there is no real solution to them," said Madhav Godbole, a retired civil servant who led a committee that studied the problems of Dabhol. "It's the political will that is wanting."


Many of India's utilities, for instance, are financially frail because policy makers look the other way as power is stolen, or because politicians dole out subsidized power to win the votes of farmers. Power plants typically operate below their capacity because the government bureaucracy allocates coal and natural gas, the fuel of power plants, to favored companies. Furthermore, cronyism often dictates who receives permission to build plants because laws requiring competitive bids are not enforced.


Emphasis by mg.

Rest of NYT article at:


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