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Integrative design next big thing in power

Amory B. Lovins, author of Winning the Oil Endgame, physicist and Co-founder, Chairman, and Chief Scientist of Rocky Mountain Institute, expresses his views on nuclear power in India.

 Lovin

 Amory B. Lovins

As global crude oil prices flirt with the $100 (Rs 4,000) a barrel price, and India grapples with nuclear blues, Amory B. Lovins, author of Winning the Oil Endgame, physicist and Co-founder, Chairman, and Chief Scientist of Rocky Mountain Institute, a think tank, who was here in India recently, says: “At the risk of being a little controversial, I don’t understand why the deal is in the interest of either India or the US.”

A more sensible approach for India is to modernise the balance 97 per cent of power sources than focus on the mere 3 per cent energy that nuclear power will supply. “It will be cheaper and faster and will not raise the issues of dependency and proliferation,” he adds.

This will be in keeping with the trend worldwide, where micropower and distributed renewables added four times the output and 11 times the capacity that nuclear power added in 2005. The Npower story is only bought by central planners, argues Lovins, adding that the big story in energy saving is in integrative design. But “most business executives do not yet realise that integrative design is an exciting new source of competitive advantage,” says Lovins. However, that may well change soon as oil continues its upward surge.