Why you should care
We always thought energy was pretty hot.
Put aside talk of India’s economic prowess and consider this: Without electricity, there’s only so far a country can go, and India and Pakistan have major power issues, OZY’s Emily Cadei reports. A third of India’s people lack electricity; 40 percent of Pakistan’s do. Narendra Modi, India’s newish prime minister, knows this — he’s promised to get a light bulb in every family home by 2019. To do that, he’ll need to get the country moving on solar power. In May, Pakistan inaugurated its first solar park, with aims of producing 1,000 megawatts by 2016. In both countries, financing is an obstacle. Pay-as-you-go solar might be an answer. Read the story here.
Another renewable source of energy is geothermal — the intense heat below the Earth’s surface, seen most often in geysers, hot springs and volcanoes. And it turns out that the Caribbean could be ideally positioned for geothermal development, according to OZY science writer Melissa Pandika. The islands perch on two continental plate boundaries, where giant slabs of the Earth’s crust meet, and hot molten magma rises toward the surface, warming the surrounding rocks to create a heat reservoir. Seawater seeps through crevices and pores in the magma-baked rocks, absorbing heat along the way. The hot water then buoys upward to shallower depths, where it can be extracted by drilling geothermal wells. As the rising fluid boils, it generates steam that can be used to rotate power-plant turbines. Is it getting hot in here? YES. Read the story here.
Attention: The world’s largest oil producer is running out of its black gold. With oil wells predicted to run dry as early as 2030, Saudi Arabia is trying, in fits and starts, to diversify its economy. It has a long way to go. Oil revenues came to about $312 billion this year and almost half of the economy. As OZY’s Nathan Siegel tells us, Saudi Arabia and its businesspeople are taking a number of steps, from opening its stock exchange to investing in solar, poultry, dairy and petrochemicals. The hope is to stitch together a safety net. Read the story here.