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30th Annual General Meeting will be held on 30th July, 2017 at K.P.Basu Memorial Hall, Jadavpur University. A seminar on PRESENT SCENARIO OF INDUSTRIALISATION OF THE EASTERN INDIA will be held on 29th July, 2017 at INDUMATI SABHAGRIHA, Jadavpur University. All the members are requested to attend theses programmes.

Right to Accessing Energy – A Global Movement

 
After the fall of USSR, the era of cold war was over and that created a lot of opportunities to the imperialist forces, lead by the USA to dictate various terms and conditions in the name of ‘showering the peace’ to the world. They do not have any hesitation to brand a country as ‘terrorist’ if they do not serve the purpose of the USA and their allies. They maintain modern research and analysis wing with very long-range plans and program to capture the strategic resources of other sovereign countries by hatching any kind of unjustified obstructions without following any national or international law. As a part of their plan, they create ‘terrorists’ in different parts of the world whenever they feel so and thereafter they do not hesitate to ploy a situation to genocide the men, women and children indiscriminately in the name of fighting the terrorists and impose conditions to their puppet government to take away the natural resources of that country through multinational corporate houses. Their spine chilling laughter creates echoes in the ionosphere (visible through hundreds of captive electronic medias) shattering the cry of the millions of the masses across the globe.
 
As a part of their strategic plan they want to control the carbohydrate fuel sources of the world for an ultimate will to capture the global markets through ‘blitzkrieg’ striking power paralyzing the economic power of the countries outside their fold. Such destructive activities are at present going on in Iraq, an oil rich country, and immediate strategic preparations are going on for a similar assault in Iran, another oil rich country.
 
The whole supply chain of such fuel production- from geological surveys, to drilling, extraction, transportation of the fuel, processing and refining are highly-capital intensive and by their very nature require economies of scale. The industrialized nations, with one-fifth of the world’s population, consume two-thirds of the world’s resources and produce four-fifths of the world’s waste and pollution.
 
Energy, the product of carbohydrate and fossil fuels, only became an internationally traded commodity with the dictated rise of petroleum price. Standard Oil consolidated its monopoly around the turn of the last century. Before then, in the early stages of capitalism, the main sources of energy: wood, coal, and waterpower were both produced and consumed within a limited geographical area. Even non-fossil forms of energy such as large hydropower have been the cornerstones of imperialistic projects.
 
The current liberal model of production and distribution of electricity has entered into the era of deregulation. All deregulation in real sense means the removal of any semblance of public participation in any decisions involving energy generation and distribution. The kind of deregulation has been introduced is not only antidemocratic but also cynical and ultimately would have a catastrophic effect on the livelihood of humankind.

The competition in electric power business mainly exists between public owned and private owned organisation. The public owned power organisation provided cleaner, safer, cheaper and reliable power in the last century. The idea of deregulation in the field of electricity is to put this essential commodity in competitive market which is nothing but keeping it beyond the access of the common people particularly in the country like ours. Thus the world is heading for a deregulated monopoly from a regulated monopoly. In India before the introduction of ACT-2003, the state power board of Orissa was privatized but with in 3 to 4 years the USA based multinational AES, has fled away without paying back huge outstanding amount to the Government. This left behind a shamble electricity board and it may take a long time to set it on right direction. In the post ACT era the Delhi Electricity board has been unbundled and handed over to two large Industrial houses but resulted subsidization of huge money, to the tune of several crore of tax payers money. The power supply system is in shamble now. There is no system in load shading but the worst hit areas are the low power consumers like lower middle class and poor peoples residential places. In other hand where regulated monopoly exists viz., West Bengal, has earned commercial profit in the year 2005-06 to the tune of around 90 crore.

In the USA, today, there are more than 2,000 community-owned electric utilities, serving over 40 million people or about 15 percent of the nation's electricity consumers. U.S. cities such as Los Angeles, Seattle, Sacramento etc have publicly-owned electric power. This does not mean that public power can’t be taken over by corporate interests, as it often is. Public power is not panacea, but historically publicly owned utilities have been much more amenable to renewable energy and energy efficiency, and in general are more accountable to the public. For example, The New York State Power Authority has long been famous for corruption and control by corporations, while the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) has been a leader among U.S. utilities for renewable energy and efficiency.
 
Obviously, some public-power systems are more democratic than others. The New York State Power Authority is governed by a board of trustees appointed by the governor and subject to confirmation by the New York State Senate. The most democratic public utilities have governing boards chosen by direct election of the people. Sacramento’s municipal utility is governed by a five-person board elected by the citizens of the district SMUD. If the constituents are dissatisfied with outages and rate hikes, or frightened about a nuclear plant, they have a mechanism for debating solutions and choosing leaders who will implement those decisions.
 
America’s largest power producers are federally owned hydropower agencies like the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Bonneville Power Administration and the Tennessee Valley Authority. The directors of these agencies are appointed by the president and confirmed the U.S. Senate.
 
Perhaps the best way of extracting reforms from capitalist utilities is building a grassroots political movement to municipalize them. After the 2001 California blackouts, some of the loudest voices demanding public power were large manufacturing corporations, who prefer the low, stable rates of public power to the price gouging of deregulation.

To cope up the situation of fast drying up of the petrol and natural gas wells and fight to establish the supremacy in these areas, a continuous R&D work is going on in most of the related laboratories around the world to find the alternative to the mineral oil. Some areas have been identified like wind power, solar photovoltaic, tidal wave power, Hydrogen and fuel cell etc are brought to the fold of Renewable energy. At present the cost of renewable energy is very high in comparison to the conventional energy but the scientists are very hopeful and giving assurance that the cost shall be brought to the level of conventional energy in coming decade. The rapid change of technology in this field will be certainly easier to access quality energy by the common people without changing their sovereign status.

Though renewable energy is still acquiring a small percentage of the total world energy, it is clearly the fastest growing segment.
  • Global wind power capacity grew 35% in 2001 alone, to 25,000 MW, and the industry will far surpass the International Energy Agency (IEA) forecast of 48,000 MW by 2007. Annual wind power sales are already in the $5 billion range, by some estimates, with 25% per year growth expected through the decade.
  • Solar photovoltaic systems are a $1 billion market, with one leading supplier projecting the market to reach $5 billion in annual sales worldwide by 2010. Japan’s installed capacity growing 52%, IEA, whose forecasts of 4,000 MW in 2010 are most likely as conservative as its wind forecasts. U.S. PV manufacturer AstroPower forecasts world capacity to reach 10,000 MW in 2010 and over 80,000 MW by 2020.
Most of the poorest places on earth are also the sunniest. An estimated 1.1 million solar home systems and solar lanterns have been installed in developing countries. For example, in Kenya, between 3 and 4 percent of rural households had small PV systems in the year 2000, compared to less than 2 percent that were connected to the power grid.
 
Brazil started a program in 1975 to use ethanol (made from sugar cane) to fuel vehicles. Today, about one third of fuel used by cars and light trucks in Brazil is in the form of ethanol. Dirt-cheap solar cookers and improved biomass stoves have long been common in poor areas. Even in the fossil fuel-rich Middle East and North Africa, renewable energy use is growing rapidly. Syria announced plans to invest $1.5 billion in renewable energy by 2011, Turkey is currently developing 440 MW of wind projects, and Egypt is developing wind and solar power on a large scale.
 
China’s solar hot water industry expanded rapidly in the 1990s, and is now serving 10 million households. The China government has stated a goal of 5% of all new electricity generation capacity be renewable by 2010, as has South Korea, while Malaysia has pledged 5% by 2005. China is undergoing a massive renewable energy program for rural areas, with a $340 million, two-year plan involving small hydro, solar and wind power in thousands of rural villages.
 
In India, the Indian government has stated a goal of 10% of all new electricity generation capacity be renewable by 2010. Presently the overall contribution by renewable energy (excluding large hydro) is still only 3.5% of the country’s total energy supply, but is growing. The renewable energy industry in India has been growing 15-20% annually in the last few years.
 
Even bastions of neo liberalism such as the World Bank between 1992 and 2002, financed $1.35 billion of renewable energy projects, but it also spent $25 billion for fossil energy projects in the same period.
 
Movements by people around the world affected by capitalist energy projects are truly inspiring and deserve support. In the Brooks Range of Alaska, the people are working on solar energy projects while fighting oil drilling in the nearby Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The successful popular mobilizations against water and gas privatization in Bolivia have been making headlines around the world. Grassroots struggles in the Narmada Valley of India against big dam projects have also attracted international attention. Kerala Sastra Sahitya Parishad (KSSP), which literally translates as “Science Writers’ Forum of Kerala,” coined the term “science for social revolution.”
The objective of people’s science could have fulfilled the basic needs of all of humanity: could have liberated minds from the dead weight of obscurantism and backwardness. But in a world where the greed of a few have strangled the needs of the larger humanity, science and technology have been turned into further means of concentrating power and wealth into a few hands, are being abused as tools for wasteful consumption, hideous militarization and gruesome wars. Their distorted use has brought both humanity and nature on the verge of annihilation.
 
All the People's Science Movements are committed to working for a society where every single person is guaranteed a minimum quality of life, a society that is equitable and sustainable. It concerns the way how science and technology can be utilized to serve the purpose of humanity. It thrusts on public need to participate in movement to apply science and technology for betterment of civilization and selection of technology in different context.
 
As India’s People’s Science Movements demonstrate, knowledge of energy production should not strictly be the realm of so-called experts. Millions of everyday people should be learning about these issues and making their voices heard, not just in India but in the industrialized countries as well.
The fight for public power needs to be linked to the struggle for public ownership and democratic control over all of our resources and institutions to socialism. Price gouging, kickbacks for public utility bosses, pollution, and profiteering are features of the state utilities that remain public, just as they did in California before deregulation. The same logic that says that power is a good commodity that should be democratically and publicly controlled and allocated to all.
The 19th AGM of FOSET, take the resolution, to take active participation against world wide encroachment of access of energy and demand to withdraw immoral aggression on energy sector so that its access to all common people in India and throughout the world are kept open.
 

Right to Accessing Energy – A Global Movement



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