Continuing his efforts to discredit PM Modi, former Congress president Rahul Gandhi today shared a snippet of the Prime Minister’s interaction with the CEO of a wind turbine company, claiming that PM does not understand science. Responding to the PM’s suggestion to conducting research on extracting water and oxygen from air using windmills used to generate power, the Congress scion tweeted, “the real danger to India isn’t that the PM doesn’t understand but that people around him lack the guts to tell him that”.
The real danger to India isn’t that our PM doesn’t understand.— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) October 9, 2020
It’s the fact that nobody around him has the guts to tell him. pic.twitter.com/ppUeBeGwpk
While Rahul Gandhi wanted to mock PM Modi by implying that his suggestions are not scientific, actually he ended up exposing himself, because one suggestion made by the PM is already proven, while the other one is being studied by researchers.
PM Modi on Tuesday had a discussion with the CEO of a turbine company Vestas, Henrik Anderson, where he spoke about a range of issues related to the wind energy and India’s efforts to harness renewable energy in order to build a cleaner future for the coming generations.
In the video clip shared by Rahul Gandhi, PM Modi can be seen talking about the increasingly diversified role of turbines in solving fundamental problems of drinking water and breathing oxygen.
PM Modi suggests turbines be used for converting wind moisture into drinking water
“In places where moisture is more, turbines could be used to such that moisture and provide clean, drinking water. This would be particularly useful in coastal regions of India which are usually plagued with the issue of not having drinking water. The use of turbines to suck moisture and provide drinking water can largely solve the problems of villages facing the acute shortage of drinking water,” PM Modi said.
Furthermore, PM Modi suggested that the possibility of oxygen being separated from the air through turbines. “Research is going on in this area and it will be challenging to achieve the feat but if done, the oxygen market can be captured. If achieved, we can achieve 3-in-1 energy with this method. We will be able to generate power, procure water and capture oxygen from it,” PM Modi said.
Then PM Modi goes on to ask Anderson if his scientists will be able to something in this direction. To this, Anderson responds that he is fascinated by PM Modi’s suggestions, passion and interest in the matter. He also asked PM Modi to visit Denmark to be an “idea generator” for researchers for India and Denmark.
“I am smiling at your passion and excitement about harnessing the wind energy. You should come to Denmark. You will be an idea generator for researchers in India and Denmark. I can’t express how pleased I am with your ideas,” Anderson said.
Technology breakthrough already achieved in converting wind moisture into drinking water
However, much like Rahul Gandhi’s disconnect with the Indian public, he is also disconnected with the Scientific developments that are happening across the globe. Science has already progressed to levels where turbines can be used to suck moisture from the air and convert it into potable water. This concept was tested in Abu Dhabi in 2018 wherein a wind turbine was used to condense water from the air and pump it into storage tanks for filtration and purification. Through this technological breakthrough, 1000 litres of clean water was produced in arid deserts of Abu Dhabi.
PM Modi’s other idea about capturing oxygen from wind, was more of an exploratory suggestion thrown at the Vestas CEO, asking him if his scientists can achieve such an innovation. However, the US govt owned National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), through its “Wind to Hydrogen Project” has already achieved the feat of chemically separating Hydrogen and Oxygen molecules of water (H2O) through a wind turbine.
Commercially Hydrogen is more important product, as it is a fuel, and Oxygen occurs as a byproduct in this process. The fact is that researches have been able to use wind-generated power to split water into Hydrogen and Oxygen molecules, and therefore, the suggestion made by PM Modi was not far from reality.
Ministry of Earth Sciences also confirmed that the suggestions made by the PM have a scientific basis. Perhaps as a response to the remark by Rahul Gandhi, the ministry tweeted from its official Twitter handle that the PM’s ideas on using the Wind Turbines in generating water from moisture in air for coastal areas and separating oxygen from air are technically feasible. They also informed that for larger societal benefit, this challenge will be taken up by the Ministry of Earth Sciences, The National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) and the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India.
While the CEO of Vestas, Henrik Anderson, was visibly impressed with the innovative ideas and thoughts of PM Modi, the former Congress President Rahul Gandhi discarded the ideas stating that the PM Modi doesn’t understand what he is saying. With the research and technological advancement demonstrating that PM Modi’s suggestions were very much possible, and implementable, Gandhi’s snide remarks for PM Modi only serves to underscore his own ignorance.