Sunday, May 27, 2012

Some thoughts on increasing petrol, diesel rates vs. Raspberry Pi

For those who didn’t hear about Raspberry Pi, let me explain what it is. Raspberry Pi is a single board skeleton computer running on Linux, developed by Raspberry Pi foundation. Aim of this small computer is to popularize computer science and programming among school kids. Cost of the system is just $25!!! Followed by Pi, Via technologies (Taiwan) released APC and Rikomagic (China) released MK802. These two are using Android system.

Technological innovations like Pi are not alone in its category. There are so many others - small and big but efficient devices which can do keyhole surgery to transporting humans to moon. Over the years these devices become smaller and more efficient. At the same time some devices and technologies wiped out from the face of the earth or replaced by more efficient ones. Unfortunately in the case of oil and gas, six decades back also we were fighting, and now also we are fighting for that!!!

Rising Oil Prises in India

The country's state-run oil firms announced a steep 11.5% increase in the price of petrol on Wednesday (March 23rd) to offset growing losses caused by subsidised rates, rises in the international oil price and a plunging rupee. Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) chairman R.S. Butola said the refiners had been forced to impose the price hike after sustaining losses of up to Rs 500mn ($9mn) a day since the start of the current financial year (2012) on April 1.

Why Oil and Gas?

Why we are feeling so helpless in front of oil and gas? Even after spending decades under the grip of oil shocks why we are unable to break this bond? It’s not that pumping oil is as easy as pumping water from a river. Over the years oil companies created such a highly sophisticated infrastructure and technology that now-a-days even the deep sea floors are not free from human intervention. However, all the countries are not blessed by this liquid money minting machine. Many countries are struggling to meet their domestic demand for oil and feeling total helplessness in the face of huge outflow of hard earned foreign exchange in the form of payment for oil and gas imports.

Is it because of our inability to find alternate fuel sources or our non-interest in finding one? Sometimes, I feel the second one is more correct. Consider the case of atom bomb; people didn’t know how to make it, there was not much idea on whether it was feasible or not. In spite of all these difficulties humans did it; that too in a short period of time. Why? Only to add another show piece to the list of achievements? No, because it was a war time emergency and countries were ready to their best of resources to develop it.


As the old proverb goes ‘if these is a will there is a way’. But do we have to wait for another world war to create a will? to find an answer for oil and gas? to run machines ranging from irrigation jet pumps to jet engines without fearing another oil shock? Can’t we take project of finding an alternate fuel source as a war time emergency? Economically viable alternate fuel sources are the alternative to escape from the ever increasing oil prices. Some Jetropha here some ethanol there and some hybrid cars in some other place won’t work in the long term, what we need to sustain our growth engine is an economy running on alternate fuel.

So next time when you will walk to the streets to protest against the rising oil prices or asking questions in parliament, make sure that you are not part of the problem but part of the solution. Raise the issue of inventing alternate fuel sources as a war time emergency instead of halting the entire country for another day...


Photo courtesy - Wikipedia, later edited to suit this article

No comments:

Post a Comment