Biomass Plants in India are shutting down as feedstock costs have increased rapidly while government regulated electricity tariffs have yet to increase.60% of India’s Biomass Plants have closed down as they are longer profitable.Note India has a massive growth target for biomass electricity capacity up from 1 GW at present (2 GW if you count cogeneration).A number of agricultural companies have set up a number of plants besides dedicated green utilities.However inflation in India has affected the operation of plants specially those who don’t have inhouse feedstock supply.

Green Companies in India are appealing to the electricity regulation CERC to increase the mandated tariffs which are different for different states.Like the thermal power generators increase in fuel prices had made operation unviable.The electricity sector in India is heavily regulation and lack of a free market causes these periodic booms and busts.

CERC Feed in Tariff for Biomass Produced Electricity for Different States

Note India’s Electricity Regulator gives a number of Incentives for Biomass Generated Electricity namely

1) Depreciation

2) Feed In Tariffs for 13 Years out of a useful life of 20 Years

3) Sharing of Carbon Credits under the CDM Protocol

4) Preferential Loan and Interest Rates

5) Payment Rebates by Utilities

Some of the state Feed in Tariffs

India does not have a centralized rate of FIT for Biomass Electricity and it is different for different states depending on the assumptions.Here is the FIT for a few of the major Biomass States in India

State                          Feed in Tariff (Rs./kWh)
Andhra Pradesh                  Rs4.15
Gujarat Cogeneration       Rs 5.17
Madhya Pradesh                 Rs3.93
Maharashtra                          Rs4.76
Maharashtra Cogeneration RS4.80
Punjab                                        Rs5.49
Rajasthan                                  Rs4.73
Tamil Nadu                              Rs5.08
West Bengal                             Rs4.88

Biomass Energy in India

India had set up around 500 MW of Biomass Capacity by 2007 and has increased it by almost 150 MW since then to reach around 1 GW capacity today.Most of Indias’ Biomass Electricity is being generated in Andhra Pradesh,Maharashtra,Tamil Nadu,Karnataka and Rajasthan.A lot of new capacity is being built in Punjab and Chattisgarh as well.India with a total biomass capacity of around 1 GW is planning to increase it by 10 times to 10 GW by 2020.Between 200-600 acres of land are required to support 1 Mw of Biomass Capacity .This is much more than what is required for even thin film solar energy which is around 10 acres.The large land requirements make Biomass Energy Scaling a difficult proposition,however it has a great use in niche applications where there is a large amount of crop and animal residue/waste

India’s Power Industry is in the most severe crisis since the sector was reformed and private power sector companies were allowed. India’s electricity companies which were considered as a great investment with fancied valuations have now found the going tough. A number of factors have converged to make the electricity industry go into the crisis mode. India faces a dark 2012 summer as the energy demand remains high and growing while power plants remain stuck due to absence of fuel and remunerative prices. With the Indian banks also looking at debt defaults, the government is trying to come up with a new plan.

This new plan has following features

1) Reduce the Power Purchasing Agreement Tenure to 5 years from 25 years.This would make it easy to change the prices of power purchased to reflect the changed realities

2) Some sort of fuel cost indexation for electricity tariffs .The reason is that prices of imported coal has risen dramatically which has made the large UMPP get stuck because the revenues don’t meet the costs.

This plan will take 6 months to be implemented as the government talks with stakeholders like states which are reluctant to change the power prices decided in the PPA with the earlier UMPP being built by Tata Power and Reliance Power in Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh.

What this policy is missing is that Coal with its Disadvantages should not become the backbone of India’s power sector.T he country has to reduce the reliance on this dirty fossil fuel and look to alternatives like Solar Power where costs have fallen dramatically in the recent past. More focus should be put on hydro energy as well as it has great benefits.China is looking to add 400 GW of hydro capacity in the next 10 years compared to India’s total current capacity of 182 GW.

Note I had warned about the dependence on coal as fuel earlier


Indian Privately Owned Power Utilities are furiously expanding their capacities as India looks to treble its Power Generation Capacity in the next decade.The major power companies like Adani Power and Reliance Power are giving Tata Power a tough fight for the position of the biggest private Indian Utility. While these companies cannot hope to overtake state owned giant NTPC in this decade,they may do so in the next one.Note some of these companies are expected to grow almost 20 times in the next 10 years.Here  are the main contenders

  1. Tata Power is looking to double its capacity to around 6 GW from the 3 GW at present by March 2012
  2. Reliance Power is also looking to add around 5 GW from its around 1 GW present.Reliance Power with its 3 UMPP Coal Plants has the biggest expansion planned near term
  3. Lanco Power with around 2 GW has around 7 GW under construction
  4. Adani Power seems to be executing best with around 6.6 GW to come under steam in the next year with 1 GW under operations.Adani’s Mundra Power Plant seems well ahead in the construction timeline.

Note most of the power plants being built in India are coal ones with the power providers aggressively buying up coal mines in Indonesia, Australia and South Africa to increase fuel security.However in case of any global disruptions, India remains very vulnerable.However India’s policymakers are sleeping on this issue. It makes more sense to concentrate on those sources whose fuel security is high such as solar and wind power. Coal also faces the prospect of high carbon taxation as global warming becomes acute. Environmental issues related topower plants has already resulted in some being halted as local citizens agitate against the thermal plant’s negative effects on livelihoods and health.

Tariff, purchasing pact revisions may help government meet power target

Fuel cost-based tariffs and shorter power-purchase pacts can help government resolve issues that have tripped its ambitious 1,00,000 crore plan to add 24,000-mw through large power projects, say experts.

The government is revising bidding documents and framing mechanism for local equipment sourcing for the large plants called ultra mega power projects (UMPPs), a senior power ministry official said. And this exercise could take over six months, another official said. India has awarded four UMPPs of the identified 16. Costly imported coal is threatening to make projects of companies such as Tata Power and Reliance Power unviable ever since prices began moving up after regulatory changes in Indonesian and Australian contract supplies last year.

Nuclear Energy as an Investment

Nuclear Power has come under assault in the aftermath of the Fukushima Nuclear Accident with Nuclear becoming a four letter word.However Nuclear Energy cannot be ignored because its nuclear energy uses  are unique in some applications and cannot be substituted by any other means.Nuclear Energy is responsible for generating almost 1/6th of the global production of electricity with Developed Countries like Japan,Europe and USA having 20% or more of their electricity being generated by Nuclear Fission.Currently 31 countries in the world have nuclear reactors producing electricity.The total installed nuclear generating capacity in the world is around 375 GW (WNA) with another 170 GW in planning g state and another 170 GW being proposed.Despite the massive opposition that nuclear power has run into,nuclear companies and nuclear power stocks are not going away soon.This is because of the massive installed base and the nuclear plans of emerging countries.For example Middle Eastern countries like Saudi Arabia,UAE are going ahead with their nuclear power plans as are countries like India and Vietnam.

Types of Nuclear Energy Stocks

Note the Nuclear Industry is a massive industry and can be roughly be divided into 3 main cateogries.The biggest nuclear energy stocks are utility stocks which have lots of nuclear power capacity installed.These are like renewable energy utility stocks which have large amounts of renewable power capacity.Then there are nuclear equipment providers or nuclear reactors stocks just like wind turbine or solar panel companies.There are also nuclear material providers which provide uranium and other materials for nuclear power plants.The last is a niche category nuclear waste stocks but they can be highly rewarding as well.This is because top nuclear countries which have vast amounts of nuclear waste which will be have to ultimately disposed of.Currently there are lying in temporary facilities but they will have to be disposed of and then these stocks will make huge profits.

Nuclear Utility Stocks

  1. Southern Nuclear Operating Company, Inc., also known as Southern Nuclear, is a nuclear power company headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama. The company operates six nuclear power units at three plants
  2. Exelon (EXC) is one of the largest nuclear utilities in the USA with more than nuclear power plants including the infamous Three Mile Island.
  3. Electricité de France S.A. (EDF; English: Electricity of France) is the world’s largest utility company. It also has the large nuclear power capacity in the world.It has 58 active nuclear reactors (in France) spread out over 20 sites (nuclear power plants).
  4. Vattenfall is a Swedish power company and  is wholly owned by the Swedish government.The company gets 25% of its power from nuclear souces
  5. Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) is a government-owned corporation of India based and exclusively  generates  nuclear power for electricity.
  6. Entergy (ETR)
  7. Dominion Resources (D) is a power and energy company headquartered in Richmond, Virginia and has more than 41% of its power being generated from nuclear resournces
  8. Constellation Energy (CEG)
  9. NRG Energy’s (NRG)
  10. Edison International (EXI)
  11. Horizon Nuclear Power is a British energy company expecting to build new nuclear power stations in the United Kingdom. It is an E.ON UK and RWE npower joint venture, established in 2009, with its head office in Gloucester.
  12. China Guangdong Nuclear Power Holding Co., Ltd. (CGNPC) was established in September 1994 with a registered capital of RMB 10.2 billion with nuclear power as its core business. With CGNPC as its core enterprise, China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group (CGNPG) comprises more than twenty wholly owned or controlling subsidiaries.
  13. Nuclearelectrica is a Romanian state-owned company with installed capacity of 1,400 MW and an annual average power production of 5.613 GWh meaning 18 % of the total national output of Romania
  14. Korea Electric Power Corporation, better known as KEPCO, (??????: Hanguk Jeollyeok Gongsa) is the largest electric utility in South Korea

Nuclear Reactors Stocks

The Nuclear Energy Equipment market which is supposed to grow to a Trillion Dollar Market by 2030 is dominated by Three Companies/Joint Ventures.French Energy Giant Areva,Toshiba-Westinghouse and General Electric-Hitachi are the three Combines ruling over the Nuclear Energy Reactor Market currently.There are also two smaller players Russia’s ZAO Atomstroyexport and Korea Electric Power Corp.Toshiba has been an aggressive player in this market buying  US based Westinghouse in a Billion Dollar deal earlier.

1) Toshiba
2) General Electric
3) Areva
4) Korea Electric Power
5) Mitsubishi
6) ZAO Atomstroyexport7) Babcock & Wilcox (B&W)has supplied the nuclear industry with 1,300 large, heavy-walled components worldwide. With dedicated manufacturing operations in the U.S. and Canada, B&W suppliesfabricating pressure vessels, reactors, steam generators, heat exchangers, valves and other auxiliary equipment.

Mini Nuclear Reactor Companies

  1. Hyperion Power Generation, Inc. is a privately held corporation formed to construct and sell several designs of relatively small (70 MW thermal, 25 MW electric) nuclear reactors, which they claim will be modular, inexpensive, inherently safe, and proliferation-resistant.
  2. NuScale Power, Inc. is a corporation formed to construct and sell dedicated design of relatively small (160 MW thermal, 45 MW electric, hence 28% efficient) nuclear reactors, which they claim will be modular, inexpensive, inherently safe, and proliferation-resistant.
  3. TerraPower is a nuclear reactor design spin-off company of Intellectual Ventures that is headquartered in Bellevue, Washington in the United States. TerraPower is investigating a class of nuclear fast reactors called the traveling wave reactor (TWR). One of TerraPower’s primary investors is Bill Gates
  4. Flibe Energy is a company that intends to develop small modular reactors based on liquid fluoride thorium reactor (LFTR) technology. It was founded on April 6, 2011

Nuclear Fuel and Nuclear Material Companies

  1. Nuclear Fuel Services Inc. is an American company that has been a major supplier of fuel for the United States Navy’s fleet of nuclear-powered vessels since the 1960s. In recent years it has also processed weapons-grade uranium into nuclear reactor fuel. It operates a 65-acre (260,000 m2) gated complex in Erwin, Tennessee
  2. Nukem GmbH, together with its subsidiary Nukem Inc., markets nuclear (reprocessed) fuel components and speciality products utilities worldwide. Since the 1970s, Nukem has transitioned from playing a modest role in uranium brokerage to becoming one of the world’s largest intermediaries in the international nuclear fuel marke
  3. Korea Nuclear Fuel or KNF is a South Korean public enterprise e to provide high quality nuclear fuel. It provides nuclear fuels to 20 nuclear power plants in South Korea
  4. Japan Nuclear Fuel Ltd. (JNFL) is a nuclear energy company involved in the production of nuclear fuel, as well as the reprocessing, storage and disposal of nuclear waste.
  5. Kazatomprom is a state-owned nuclear holding company in Kazakhstan, which operates in the field of Uranium and nuclear fuel cycle services
  6. Tekhsnabexport  (TENEX) is a state owned Russian company founded in 1963 which trades uranium fuel and fuel processing services abroad

Uranium Companies and Stocks

Note most of the uranium companies are based in Canada and the others are state owned uranium companies which are not publicly traded.

  1. Denison Mines Corp. (TSX: DML, NYSE: DNN) is a Canadian uranium exploration, development, and production company
  2. Cameco Corporation (TSX: CCO, NYSE: CCJ) is the world’s largest publicly traded pure play uranium company.It is the world’s second largest uranium producer, accounting for 16% of world production
  3. Uranium One (TSX: UUU, JSE: UUU)  is a Canadian based uranium mining company with operations in Australia, Canada, Kazakhstan, South Africa and the United States.
  4. USEC Inc. (USU)  supplies low enriched uranium (LEU) to commercial nuclear power plants in the United States and internationally.  In addition, the company provides nuclear energy solutions and services, including the design, fabrication, and implementation of spent nuclear fuel technologies,transportation and storage systems for spent nuclear fuel; and nuclear and energy consulting services.
  5. China Nuclear International Uranium Corporation  is a Chinese Government owned corporation involved in prospecting, and eventually mining, overseas sources of Uranium.

Nuclear Waste Stocks

Nuclear Waste is one of the most difficult waste products to transport and store because of its dangerous radioactive effects.Given the long life of some of the transuranic elements Nuclear Waste has to be stored in a safe manner for thousands of years which is a tough given that the chances of leakage become enormous in such a long time scale.Storing of Nuclear Waste has to be performed in a extremely complicated manner which is also enormously costly.Also there are problems of NIMBY with Nuclear Waste Storage as nearby residents don’t want such toxic waste stored anywhere close especially as it does not bring any economic or social benefits.Not there is no permanent storage site despite many decades of planning and billions of dollars being spent.While Japan and Europe reprocess the fuel in the hope that they will be used again that remains a dream with thousands of tons of HLW piling up.

  1. COVRA (Centrale Organisatie Voor Radioactief Afval) is a Dutch nuclear waste processing and storage company  which stores the waste produced in the Borssele nuclear power plant after it is reprocessed by Areva NC
  2. The Deutsche Gesellschaft zum Bau und Betrieb von Endlagern für Abfallstoffe mbH (DBE) is responsible for planning, construction and operation of the facilitiesor securing and disposal of radioactive waste on behalf of the Federal Republic of Germany.
  3. The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) is a non-departmental public body of the United Kingdom formed by the Energy Act 2004. It came into existence in late 2004, and took on its main functions on 1 April 2005. Its purpose is to deliver the decommissioning and clean-up of the UK’s civil nuclear legacy in a safe and cost-effective manner, and where possible to accelerate programmes of work that reduce hazard
Note there are other utilities and companies which have substantial nuclear operations as well but the above covers most of the nuclear related companies and stocks in the world.The description of most of the companies has been taken from Wikipedia.

Nuclear Energy has come under the spotlight after the Japanese nuclear plant disaster with people focusing on the strengths and weaknesses of nuclear power.One of the most important aspects of nuclear based power is that it is highly efficient.Nuclear Energy is currently the most efficient power source in terms of the fuel required,land area needed and also the waste it produces.The reason for this is that nuclear based electricity is primarily produced from nuclear reactions while other forms of energy like natural gas,coal and oil use chemical reactions.Other such as wind energy convert mechanical energy into useful energy.Nuclear Power currently is mostly produced through nuclear fission as nuclear fusion is still in infancy and its not certain that mankind will be able to use nuclear fusion in a safe manner to generate energy.

Energy Densities of Nuclear Energy vs Fossil Fuels

The Energy Density of Nuclear Energy compared to Fossil Fuels is very high.While most fossil fuel types have similar range of energy output per unit of mass,nuclear energy is almost a million times more efficient .The table below shows the energy densites of nuclear energy fission reactor to different types of fossil fuel

Fuel Type Energy Density (kWh/kg) Number of Times Denser than Coal
Nuclear Fission (100% U-235) 24,513,889 2,715,385
Natural Uranium (99.3% U-238, 0.7% U-235) in a fast breeder reactor 6,666,667 738,462
Enriched Uranium (3.5% U-235) in a light water reactor 960,000 106,338
Natural Uranium (99.3% U-238, 0.7% U-235) in a light water reactor 123,056 13,631
LPG propane 13.8 1.5
LPG butane 13.6 1.5
Gasoline 13.0 1.4
Diesel fuel/Residential heating oil 12.7 1.4
Biodiesel oil 11.7 1.3
Anthracite Coal 9.0 1.0
Water at 100 m dam height 0.0003 N/A


Efficiency in Terms of Nuclear Power Plants Load Factors

Nuclear Power Plants have one of the highest load factors in the power industry.Nuclear Power Plants do not suffer from fuel shortages (except exceptional cases) like thermal coal power plants (eg. India) .Nuclear power plants account for about 11 percent of America’s total electricity generation capacity, but because they operate at high levels of efficiency and reliability, they produce nearly 20 percent of the country’s annual electricity supply.U.S. nuclear power plants have performed at an average industry capacity factor of more than 87 percent for the past seven years.

Coal Power Plants and Oil Power Plants perform at 80-90% load factors while solar and wind energy power plants perform at between 15-35% depending on the energy resource and technology types.

Efficiency in Terms of Waste Generated

Nuclear Power Plants produce much lower mass of waste as compared to normal fossil fuel plants like coal,natural gas and oil.Note these fossil fuel plants produce greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide etc. besides coal produces byproducts which are highly dangerous to human health like mercury etc.There are also byproducts generated like fly ash which are also dangerous and harmful to the environment if not disposed of carefully.Nuclear Waste though is a different matter.While some can say its low in quantity the potential hazard is also of magnitudes higher.For example the whole Fukushima danger was due to the spend nuclear rods or nuclear waste.Nuclear Waste is one of the most difficult waste products to transport and store because of its dangerous radioactive effects.Given the long life of some of the transuranic elements Nuclear Waste has to be stored in a safe manner for thousands of years which is a tough given that the chances of leakage become enormous in such a long time scale.Storing of Nuclear Waste has to be performed in a extremely complicated manner which is also enormously costly.Also there are problems of NIMBY with Nuclear Waste Storage as nearby residents don’t want such toxic waste stored anywhere close especially as it does not bring any economic or social benefits.Not there is no permanent storage site despite many decades of planning and billions of dollars being spent.While Japan and Europe reprocess the fuel in the hope that they will be used again that remains a dream with thousands of tons of HLW piling up.USA does not reprocess and also has more than 60,000 tons of nuclear waste waiting for a final home.Till then most of the spent nuclear fuel is being stored in spent fuel pools and dry casks making them vulnerable just like another Fukushima


We can say that Nuclear Power is most efficient form of energy generation in terms of energy density however in case of waste it is not so.This is because disposing of nuclear waste is a very costly and complex activity which many of the developed nations have shown complete disregard for.Nuclear Power is also efficient in terms of cost (the older plants that is) and plant load factors.

Read more about Nuclear Companies and Stocks

Nuclear Power like other forms of Energy cannot be defined by a single cost as nuclear power plants differ in their technology and sources of fuel.No two power plants can have the same cost of electricity production similarly nuclear energy plants cannot have the same kilowatt hour cost.However nuclear energy is known for its very low costs of 2-3c/kilowatt hour which can only be currently be met by coal.But nuclear energy cost is based on older nuclear power plants which have already been depreciated.This cost is also controversial as the costs of nuclear waste storage is generally not included.USA and Japan which are the largest nuclear power producers have not constructed permanent nuclear waste storage sites despite accumulating thousands of tons of nuclear waste.Also these days extra safety measures are being taken due to the Fukushima disaster which means that the costs of nuclear energy is going up.

Factors to consider behind nuclear power costs

1) Fuel Costs – Uranium costs are currently quite low due to the surplus uranium from the Soviet Union Stockpile.For the last decade uranium fuel prices have been low due to the conversion of nuclear warheads into usable fuel for nuclear reacotrs

2) Technology – There are different technologies such as light water reactors etc. and they have different costs associated with them though most fall in the same ballpark.

3)Location – Developed country nuclear power has become much more costlier in recent times than the LCOE for nuclear energy in developing countries such as China which have lower construction and regulation costs .Large nuclear power plants require a long time to build with delays due to permitting,environment clearances,financing etc. This can lead to project risk and cost escalations which may make a nuclear plant too expensive when it finally gets built. On top of these problems the “3 mile” and “Chernobyl” disasters have made nuclear power plants a NIMBY for a lot of the developed countries.

4) Local  Opposition – The backlash against the new and existing Nuclear Power Plants has started in different places around the world despite defiant expressions by Nuclear Plant Owners and Operators.In Asia,doubts are being raised against the big investments being made in new nuclear plants.

Nuclear Cost vs Coal Costs

Currently nuclear power is costlier than coal as constructing a nuclear power plant has become much more costlier.Also the risks with nuclear power in developed countries has risen manifold.The risks are so high that some companies have cancelled their nuclear power plants.The time and cost  escalation has become a very high danger with nuclear power plant construction which does not exist with Coal.Also when you consider coal and nuclear costs you have to see that nuclear energy does not pollute the environment like Coal does not only with GHG emissions but also harmful substances like mercury.

Coal power costs can also vary from 3-5c/kwh due to differences in the coal fuel costs and the technology being used.Newer coal plants cost much more as they have to use clean coal technologies in order to reduce emissions.Nuclear Power Plants also do not have to pay for Carbon Emissions in the form of buying CERs in developed countries.

Nuclear Pros

  1. Reliability – Nuclear Power is a highly reliable form of energy almost as good as other fossil fuel energy forms like coal,gas etc.Nuclear Power Plants except in drastic situations continue to run reliably for the whole day without any changes.
  2. Low Fuel Cost – Large amounts of Nuclear Energy can be produced from the fission on radioactive elements like uranium.The costs of nuclear fuel is relatively  very low compared to other energy sources like coal and gas.Also uranium prices currently are quite low making the nuclear electricity price even lower
  3. Low Electricity Cost – The Electricity produced from Nuclear Power is quite low at around 3-5c/Kwh making it very attractive to construct hydro plants.Nuclear  Plants also  have long lives of between 40-60 years which means that they are extremely profitable once constructed within reasonable costs
  4. No Greenhouse Gas Emissions/Air Pollution – Nuclear electricity does not produce any GHG emissions or cause air pollution from the combustion of fossil fuels unlike coal,oil or gas.This makes them very attractive as a source of cheap,non carbon dioxide producing electricity.
  5. High Load Factor – Nuclear Power Plants have very high load factors in excess of 80%.They can generate power almost 24/7 and only require shutdown for periodic maintanance
  6. Huge  Potential –Nuclear Energy Potential is almost infinite compared to the limited and peak features of other forms of  energy like Wind,Geothermal,Oil,Gas and others.Only Solar Energy can be said to have more potential.Note new technologies and fuels like fast breeder and thorium are still in the works which can increase the potential of Nuclear Power more

Nuclear Energy Cons

  1. Nuclear and Radiation Accidents – This is the biggest con for Nuclear Energy and has been repeated 3 times in the last 30 years in Japan,Russia and USA.The fear of a repeat is so great that despite all the safety arrangements touted by the nuclear equipment operators and suppliers,Nuclear Energy faces an uncertain future
  2. Nuclear Waste Disposal – Again a massive problem as the spent Nuclear Rods of Nuclear Reactors are prohibitively costly and difficult to dispose of.Spent nuclear fuel is initially very highly radioactive and so must be handled with great care and forethought.There is no foolproof way to dispose nuclear waste fuel after it is used in the Nuclear Reactors.The area around Nuclear Waste Sites can be dangerous to humans for hundreds of year as complex nuclear elements have half lives running into many years.the United States had accumulated more than 50,000 metric tons of spent nuclear fuel from nuclear reactors.Permanent storage underground in U.S. had been proposed at the Yucca but that project has now been effectively cancelled.Presently, waste is mainly stored at individual reactor sites and there are over 430 locations around the world where radioactive material continues to accumulate.
  3. Low level of Radioactivity from Normal Operations – The nuclear industry also produces a large volume of low-level radioactive waste in the form of contaminated items like clothing, hand tools, water purifier resins, and (upon decommissioning) the materials of which the reactor itself is built
  4. Nuclear proliferation – Many countries have used the ruse of nuclear energy programs to generate fuel for developing nuclear weapons.Currently there is a major international controversy with regards to the Iranian Nuclear Energy Program.Nuclear Reactors are targets for rogue state actors who can steal the fuel for creating radiation weapons
  5. High Capital Investment,Cost Overruns and Long Gestation Time – The time to construct a large Nuclear power project can take between 5-10 years which leads to time and cost overruns.The Nuclear Plant being built in Finland has been one of the biggest failures in Project Finance.The reactor has been delayed by many year and has led to a massive cost overrun.Areva the main nuclear equipment supplier has endured huge losses.In fact the safety regulations and the long time of construction has brought the Nuclear Energy in the Developed World to almost a halt.
  6. Regulations – The Regulations for Nuclear Energy Power Plants are many and cumbersome due to the massive risks of a failure of a nuclear reactor.This greatly increases the costs of generating nuclear power.It also leads to a long time in the actual start to the completion of a Nuclear Plant .

Advantages of Coal

1) Abundance – Coal is located almost universally,it can be found on every continent in over 70 countries, with the biggest reserves in the USA, Russia, China and India.

2) Continuous,Predictable,Reliable Source of Power – Coal Based Energy can be generated almost 24×7  unlike other forms of renewable energy like wind and solar that are intermittent in nature

3) Low Capital Investment – The capital investment required for Coal based Power plants is relatively less at $1-2/watt of Thermal  Capacity.Note wind energy is slightly higher while Solar is even higher.Coal Mines are also quite cheap to build and Mine with Open Cast Mines providing Coal at a very Low Cost.

4) Low Cost – Coal is one of  the cheapest forms of energy making it the energy of choice in developing countries like India and China.In India its possible to get cheap coal at just $20/ton while international prices of coal range in the region of $100/ton.Note Coal based electricity can be produced at 2-4c/KwH making it the cheapest electricity source.

5) High Load Factor – Thermal Power Plants have very high load factors in excess of 80%.They can generate power almost 24/7 and only require shutdown for periodic maintenance.Coal Based Plants which have become too old or have been shutdown due to environmental concerns can still be used for backup power.

6) Large  Potential compared to Oil –Coal  Energy Potential is quite large compared to other Fossil Fules like Oi and Gas.Coal Reserves globally are estimated to be around 1 trillion tons which implies that Coal can be consumed at the current rates for another 200 years.

7) Big Industrial Base – Coal Energy has been present since the start of the Industrial Revolution with the development of the Steam Engine based on Coal .The technology and industry of the Coal Industry and Thermal Power Plants is well developed and mature.This allows a rapid deployment of Coal Power in most places in the world.

Coal to Liquids and Coal to Gases – Coal is now being looked upon as source of Transportation Fuels as Oil becomes scarce and increasingly costly.Coal to Liquid Plants are being constructed in India and China though the Technology is quite immature and the use of the technology is still questionable on environmental grounds.

Disadvantages of Coal

1) Greenhouse Gas Emissions – One of the biggest cons of Coal Energy is that it releases Carbon Dioxide which has been sequestered for millions of years in the dead bodies of plant and animals.This transfer the Carbon from the Earth to the Environment leading to the Global Warming Effect.Global Treaties have failed in putting a Cost on this,though individual countries are tying to account for this through Carbon Taxes and Cap and Trade.

2) Coal Mining Deaths – Coal Mining has resulted in thousands of deaths each year ever since man discovered coal.Note Coal Deaths happen not only in countries which don’t have good safety regulations like China but also in developed countries like USA and New Zealand.

3) Devastation of Earth and Scenery Near Coal Mines – Open Cast Mining of Coal has resulted in destruction of the habitat and destruction of the scenery.It leads to removal of trees and pollution of air and water in areas surrounding the mines.Coal Mine Fires have burned for hundreds of year underground and make living in those areas hazardous.Those burning underground can be difficult to locate and many cannot be extinguished. Fires can cause the ground above to subside, their combustion gases are dangerous to life, and breaking out to the surface can initiate surface fires as well.

4) Displacement of Humans due to Mining Destruction – In West Bengal,India people are being displaced in huge numbers as the hollowing of the earth due to underground coal mining has made those places unsafe as the  Land Caves in without warning.

5) Emission of Harmful Substances like Sulfur Dioxide,Carbon Monoxide,Mercury,Selenium, Arsenic ,Acid Rain – Thermal Plants emit harmful substances such as Mercury and Sulfur Dioxide which cause health hazards among the surrounding population and Acid Rain.While modern equipment has reduced the emission of these harmful substances,it is still very harmful to humans.

LED LightLED light is a semiconductor light source. They are gaining popularity because they are more energy efficient. Mainly used for indoor, street & home lighting, they come in various brightness & designs to suit ones needs. LEDs are available in wide range of colors from 2700K to 6500K which are dark yellow, mild yellow and ultra white. LED lighting fixtures offer endless color possibilities to enhance one’s environment. Because of the infinite colour patterns, these products are ideal for entertainment, architectural and retail applications. The demand for these lights is rising because of its efficiency and cost effectiveness. The future of household and commercial lighting is definitely LED light & soon it will be everywhere – in our homes, street lights, outdoor signs, and offices, replacing the traditional incandescent lighting.

Read more about what is a LED and How LED Works


  • Energy Efficient – Reduced power consumption unto about 70%
  • Longer life – The operational life of current white LED lamps is more, due to its high strength diodes. It is about 50,000 – 80,000 burning hours as compared to 5000 – 10000 hrs of CFL and FLT.
  • Replacement Cost – is almost nil as compared to others which require frequent replacement.
  • Maintenance Cost – The traditional lights require starters, ignitors and capacitors which require frequent maintenance & repairs. In contrast there is nonsuch hassle in LED lights.
  • Power Fluctuation – Since LEDs are dimmable, input voltage fluctuations does not affect life of LED as much as it affects the other light systems.
  • Material – LED bulbs are made of good quality plastic bulbs and more durable than traditional bulbs and even CFLs.
  • Safety – LED bulbs are very safe due to absence of any mercury and ultra-violet light.
  • Environment Friendly – LED bulbs are both customer friendly and eco-friendly as they reduce CO2 emission, thus helping to create a better world for the future generation.
  • Quick switch on, start within millisecond.

You can also read about Which LED TV in India you should Buy


Ring Lights – These are high density lights, useful for a bright concentration of light at the centre of illumination area.

Bar Lights – These are high intensity LED arrays arranged rectangularly. It’s angle can be adjusted to suit ones purpose.

Outdoor Lights – LED used for lighting streets, pedestrian paths & vehicle routes. These are built of very resistant material, to bear adverse weather conditions, corrosion & rust.

Tube lights – Available in different watts & colours, these lights can be used for both indoor & outdoor lighting purpose.

Table light – These are high power LED with aluminium dome, flexible arm & LED driver.

Decorative lights – These LEDs come in various attractive colours, patterns, shapes & sizes to suit the different lighting needs of it’s customers.

Emergency Lights – These lights are developed & designed, keeping in mind the Indian consumers. They use a unique black eye technology & delivers an all round 360 degree lighting. They provide a battery backup to a maximum of 20 hours.

Underwater lights– These water proof LED lights are used in swimming pools, fountains & other water areas.

Sports lights – Different lighting for different sports complexes. The various types of services offered are Teak lighting, indoor sports courts, stands, high mast fitting, flood lights, hoardings.

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Some of the leading LED lights manufacturers in India are:

  1. PHILIPS – The company is a market leader in cardiac care, healthcare, energy efficient lighting solutions as well as lifestyle products for personal well-being. As one of the nation’s most well-known brands, Philips is a part of practically every Indian’s life. Philips has been operating in India for over 75 years and employs over 4,500 employees around the country. The company has an excellent pan India distribution and after-sales service network. Philips manufactures consumer products like TV, sound systems, household appliances, personal grooming products, PC products & phones, lighting accessories & healthcare products. The company has launched a range of LED lights, by the name of LEDINO. It is a complete range of indoor lighting using advanced state of the art LED technology. The company has come up with lights that are stylish, yet so versatile that it can be used in radical new ways. The company believes in LEDs being the next generation innovative energy conserving lighting solution. The most popular product is the LEDINO Wall light of 2.5 W. The types of products for indoor LED lighting are spot light, ceiling light, wall light, floor light, desk light & suspension light. It comes on different colours like White, black, chrome, grey & aluminium.
  2. GKON – The company is associated with led lighting manufacturing in India for the last 15 years. It is one of the fast growing LED bulbs manufacturers and suppliers in India. Gkon offers a wide range of superior quality LED light bulbs and lamps. Gkon is serving successfully to Indian and International customers in LED arena. Its wide range of LED lighting products include Surface & emergency lights, downlighter, industrial & commercial lights, street, garden & decorative lights (walkover, cover light, underwater light, spike light), LED modules & bulbs.
  3. SUPERLITE LUMINAIRES – The company started its business in 1996, in the field of commercial projects in retail and offices. Today it’s portfolio ranges from General Commercial Lighting to Technically Complex lighting such as Solar supported LED lighting & Cleanroom Luminaries. The company manufactures LED products for various applications like street light, Solar Street light, Passage light, Small area lighting, and Office lighting.
  4. INSTAPOWER – Is a leading name in power electronics for over two decades. Its vast LED product range includes ceiling lights, down lighters, bulbs, street lights, landscape & architectural lights, aviation & industrial bay lights & also LED customised products. Instapower is the largest manufacturer of LED Aviation Obstruction lights in India and has over 100,000 aviation lights installed in India and other countries. Their products are exported to over 30 countries. Their prestigious client list comprises of RDSO, CPWD, DDA, BSNL, VSNL, MTNL, Airtel, Vodafone, Nokia, Indian Railways, BHEL, L&T, DMRC, NBCC, IOCL, ONGC, GAIL, OBC, Apollo Hospital, RML Hospital, Maruti Suzuki amongst others. Their products were supplied and installed during Commonwealth Games 2010 in New Delhi, India and at prestigious places such as The Rashtrapati Bhawan and Parliament House.
  5. DEEPAKSHI DISPLAY DEVICES Pvt Ltd – Established in 1996, Deepakshi Display Devices Pvt. Ltd. is a leading company in Liquid crystal Displays. They started their LED Backlight Plant in 2007. The company has it’s own Backlight Design. Different Side LED Backlight with various color options are available as per the requirements in different application. The company specializes in high power LED Lighting & have applied for New LED Light with various patent, with excellent performance of Thermal Management which is the very core sector of LED design. It has manufacture different Led Street Light of 14w, 40w, 80w, 100w and Led Flood Light of 100w and 150w.
  6. ILLUMINATION INDIA – are known for their quality Decorative Led Lighting and Optical Fiber Light, which are more energy efficient with high illuminating power. The company has positioned itself as one of the leaders in Interior Led Lighting manufacturers and exporters from India. The ample range of products includes Fiber Optic Lighting, Led Lighting Outdoor, Led Home Lighting etc. The raw materials used are sourced from Japan, Germany & Korea.
  7. NEOLON LIGHTING – They produce indoor & outdoor lighting fixtures, decorative & functional lighting products. A trusted brand name for professional, engineers, architects & customers. They manufacture LED spot lights.
  8. HONDA-I INTEGRATED TECHNOLOGIES Pvt Ltd. – Based in Bangalore, are the manufacturers & distributors in India of LED lights, batteries, solar electric power systems, embedded development & computer and electronic components.
  9. GLOBALBRAINS – Based in Bangalore, are the manufacturers & exporters of LED lights, solar lights, wind energy towers and structures, wind turbines, solar water pump, since 2008.
  10. EVERGREEN SOLAR SYSTEMS INDIA Pvt Ltd. – Based in Coimbatore, are majorly the manufacturers of LED lights & solar modules.
  11. ELECTRO POWER ENGINEERING – are the manufacturer, retail sales, wholesale supplier, exporter, importer, distributor of LED lights, diesel electric generators,wind power plants, wind energy system components, backup power systems. They are located in Rajkot, Gujarat.
  12. 3S INTERNATIONAL – are Cochin based manufacturer, wholesale supplier, importer, distributor of LED lights since 2001.
  13. AG POWER SYSTEMS – are Mumbai based manufacturer, wholesale supplier, exporter of LED lights, batteries, DC to AC power inverters,photovoltaic cells.
  14. SMARTEN SOLUTIONS – are Bangalore based retailer, wholesale supplier, exporter, importer, distributor of LED and Induction Lighting, Solar panels/modules, Wind Turbines / Generators, Hybrid systems, Grid connected and off grid solutions.
  15. SUNNSTAR INDUSTRIES – Based in Delhi are the manufacturers & deal in project development & design services of LED lighting.