Sample essay on Ocean Energy

There are two main sources of ocean energy: (a) ocean tides, and (b) ocean waves. Although India has about 6,100 km long coast-line, the possi­bility of tidal power generation is rather limited. It has favourable sites in the Gulf of Cambay, Gulf of Kachchh and the estuary of Hugli with total esti­mated potential of 1,000 MW. Estimates of the Central Water and Power Research station put the possibility of generation of 6 to 7 million km a day in the Gulf of Cambay and another one million km in the Gulf of Kachchh.

According to one Estimate Sea waves along the Indian coast have potentiality to yield about 40,000 MW of electricity. The output of such energy is higher during monsoon period and along the West Coast than during the post monsoon period and along the East Coast.

According to explorations made by the I.I.T. Chennai and the National Oceano- graphic Institute, Panaji the amplitude and the dura­tion of the sea waves along the East Coast are 1.1 to 1.04 m and 5.5 to 8.4 seconds respectively against 1.0 to 2.6 m and 5 to 7 seconds respectively along the West Coast. Similarly the energy potential during monsoon and non-monsoon periods ranges from 5 to 47 km and 5 to 9 km respectively along the Western Coast while same are 13 to 34 km and 7 to 17 km respectively along the Eastern Coast. The IIT, Chennai has installed a plant near Thiruvananthapuram (Vizhingam) which will gen­erate about 150 km of electricity through sea waves. British scientists have devised technology to collect hydrogen and oxygen gases from the site of such plants to bring down the cost of production.

The main problem in exploiting the ocean energy for power generation is the high cost involved in the construction of civil works and also the problem of firming up the fluctuating energy output.

Geothermal Energy

The total potential for geothermal energy in India is about 600 mw which is equivalent to about 5,130 million tons of coal. According to a survey report there are about 113 hot water springs and 340 sites from which geothermal energy could be lapped. Prospective areas for such energy lie in the North­west Himalayan ranges (Puga valley in Jammu and Kashmir and Manikaran area in Himachal Pradesh), West Coast running through Maharashtra and Gujarat, the Narmada-Sone valley and the Damodar valley.