India needs long-term energy planning:
Jun 20, 2007 - Asia Pulse Data Source
India needs to pursue an integrated approach to energy
planning as high economic growth equaling or exceeding
eight per cent would create much larger demand for
energy in the next few decades, a study has said.
The study titled 'A National Energy Map for India:
Technology Vision 2030' by The Energy Research Institute
(TERI) estimates alternative trajectories of energy
requirements and examines the likely fuel mix for
the country under various resource and technological
constraints during 200131.
It said pressure on the
three conventional energy forms -- coal, oil and gas
-- will continue to remain high in India in the next
few decades even if the contribution of hydro, nuclear,
and renewable energy increases significantly.
the contribution of hydro, nuclear and renewable energy
forms together may increase by about six times in
the next three decades, these sources can at most
contribute to a mere 4.5 per cent of the total energy
requirements, it said.
From the viewpoint of energy
security and the need to reduce its dependence on
imports of energy fuels, the country needs to undertake
all possible options on the demand and supply side,
which have implications on energy security as well
as foreign exchange outflows, the study said.
India's high dependence on oil import indicated the
economy's vulnerability to oil supply disruptions
emanating from external factors such as wars and political
instability and adverse impacts of sudden oil prices.
With the likely growth in energy demands, it is clear
that the maximum annual production potential of all
the conventional energy forms will be fully exploited
by 2016 and the country would need to increase its
imports of coal, oil, and gas in the future, it said.
The study assesses three economic scenarios -- low
growth (6.7 per cent), business as usual (BAU, 8 per
cent), and high growth (10 per cent) -- and looks
at the scope for greater use of renewable energy,
nuclear power and greater energy efficiency measures
across all sectors. In the front of BAU, the total
commercial energy consumption is estimated to increase
by 7.5 times over the next 30-year period from a level
of 285 Mtoe (million tonnes of oil equivalent) in
2001 to 2123 Mtoe in 2031.
A comparison of energy
requirements across the alternative economic growth
scenarios indicates that if the economy grows at a
slower pace of 6.7 per cent, commercial energy requirement
would increase to only about 1579 Mtoe by 2031 (5.9
per cent GDP growth), while the energy requirements
could be as high as 3351 Mtoe (8.6 per cent GDP growth)
by 2031 with a growth rate of 10 per cent.
was commissioned by the office of the Principal Scientific
Advisor to the Government of India.
It said coal would
continue to play a key role in meeting the country's
energy requirements but the indigenous availability
of coal is expected to plateau in the next couple
of decades with the current exploitation plans and
With coal demand expected to increase
in the Asian market, prices of coal may also increase
rapidly, exerting greater pressure on the economy.
Therefore, it is extremely important to reduce the
import dependency of coal by gearing up exploration
and production activity, including undertaking joint
ventures for extraction of coal from seams that are
over 300-m deep, it said.
Outlining various options
of energy resources before the country, the report
said gas is a preferred option for power generation
as well as fertilizer production.
However, while the
domestic availability of natural gas is estimated
to plateau at about 44 Mtoe by 2012, imports of gas
are fraught with uncertainty.
The report said in order
to minimize the levels of import dependency, India
should focus on increasing the supply of indigenous
energy resources and plan to enhance efforts in R&D
in the exploration and production of energy resources
especially in the area of deep-sea natural gas exploration.
Since the transport sector accounts 70 per cent of
the total petroleum consumption, it is also the most
crucial sector in terms of requiring action for improving
The steps for reducing the consumption
of petroleum products and thereby their import dependency
suggested by the report include enhancing the share
of public transportation, promoting Mass Rapid Transit
System, ensuring better connectivity of trains to
urban areas of the cities and so on.
It also suggested
for introduction of alternative fuels such as CNG
(compressed natural gas), bio-diesel, electrification
of the railway tracks and introducing Bharat-III norms
across the country for road-based personal vehicles.
Identifying lighting as the major electricity-consuming
end-use in the residential sector, it said the replacement
of light bulbs with tube lights and CFLs (compact
fluorescent lamps) can bring about huge energy savings.
Towards this end, the cost of CFLs needs to be reduced
by promoting their large-scale manufacturing, it said.
Calling for rationalizing agricultural power tariffs,
the report said power tariffs for the agricultural
sector should be at least at a level where the cost
of generation can be recovered.