Both power and energy are pervasive. Our fossil fuel cache is dwindling fast while our population is growing steadily. If we continue to base our economies on coal and oil, we will create a world with toxic air, filthy water and debilitating diseases. Global warming will bring droughts and hurricanes, tropical diseases, and widespread coastal flooding. We can replace coal and oil with clean, renewable energy sources that can generate electricity, heat buildings and power cars. Renewal energy sources are abundant. India has abundant solar insolation and Midwest in the US has huge potential for wind power. However, solar, wind and other renewable sources are intermittent and regional. They can only become major power sources if we find a way to store and transport this energy efficiently.
Hydrogen can make the renewable vision real by storing renewable energy and making it available when and where it is needed. Hydrogen is non-toxic and can be made from plain water using electricity from renewable sources. Used in fuel cells, hydrogen generates electricity and emits only water vapour. Fuel cells can be made in any size to fit everything from pocket-held devices to large power plants. They are perfect for a dispersed and robust energy infrastructure.
With the aforesaid thoughts in view, an Indo-US Workshop on ‘Recent and Emerging Trends in Power and Energy’ was organized by the Central Electrochemical Research Institute (CECRI), Karaikudi and the National Physical Laboratory (NPL), New Delhi, with support from US Army International Technology Center-Pacific, Singapore, US Army Communications and Electronics Research Development and Engineering Center, US, Asian Office of Aerospace Research and Development, Japan, Office of Naval Research Global, US, Indo-US Science and Technology Forum, New Delhi, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi, Department of Science and Technology, New Delhi, Defence Research and Development Organization, New Delhi, and Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, New Delhi, during March 12-16, 2007 at Claridges Hotel, New Delhi. The Workshop started with the Welcome Address by Dr.Gerardo Melendez, Director, Command and Control Directorate, CERDEC, New Jersey, US. Subsequently, Dr.T.Ramasami, DG-CSIR and Secretary to the Government of India, New Delhi, Department of Science and Technology, New Delhi, inaugurated the Workshop.
The Technical Sessions comprised 36 presentations on seminal areas of power and energy, namely batteries, fuel cells, hydrogen production and storage, biomass and wind power, solar energy, gas hydrates, generation sterling engine, individual cooling and energy management. Each technical session was followed by an interactive discussion. About 75 delegates from India, US, Australia, South Africa, Norway and France participated in the Workshop.
A separate meeting was held on March 16, 2007 to formulate collaborative projects between India and US in the field of Power and Energy. Ashok Patil, US Army, CERDEC, John Pazik, US Navy, G.Melendez, US Army CERDEC, A.R.Shukla, MNRE, India and Rajendra Prasad, CSIR, India moderated the discussions during the meeting. Exchange visits, arranging technical workshops/meetings, identifying co-ordinating institutions, drawing MOUs/agreements, sharing IPR and industrial partnership were discussed. Rajendra Prasad showed keen interest on Indo-US collaboration in the field of Power and Energy. Solar Energy, Hydrates and Fuel Cells were identified as core areas for Indo-US collaboration with Dr. Ashok Patil as the overall coordinator. ISTAD, CSIR, and MNRE, Govt of India, were requested to help Dr Ashok Patil in formulating the Indo-US programs. It was decided that CECRI, Karaikudi, will create a website featuring the Indo-US initiatives in power and energy sector.
Representative Photographs of the event:
Professor A K Shukla lighting the lamp.
Dr. Gerardo Melendez welcoming the delegates.
Dr. T. Ramasami inaugurating the workshop.
Participants of the workshop.