Energy and Nuclear Energy Scenario in India

Energy sources in India

Electricity demand in India has grown an average 4% per annum over last 30 years. Given the current rapid economic expansion, the demand will grow much faster. For the Indian economy to grow at 9% annually, additional capacity of 60 GW must be added every five years. Government’s promise of 100% electricity to domestic users will push up consumption.

Besides the increasing demand for power, gross inefficiencies and chaotic functioning of the power sector puts further pressure on power supply. For instance, the transmission and distribution networks are highly inefficient – experts say that there is 30 – 40% power loss. Financial health of the state electricity boards is poor. Capacity utilization is very poor:

  • Most hydro and thermal power stations operate at 87% load factor.
  • Thermal plants face shortage of coal
  • Nuclear power plants operate at 50% loads, due to shortage of uranium
  • In 2008, four gas based power projects were idle due to lack of fuel linkage

As of December 2010, the installed power generation capacity of India stood at 169 GW and is trying to add another 78 GW by 2012. The demand for electricity is expected to be about 1,000 GW by 2030. It has invested heavily in renewable energy, particularly in the wind energy – current installed capacity is about 13 GW. It also aims to produce 20 GW from solar power and 30 GW from nuclear energy in next 10-15 years. An investment of US $55 billion is expected by 2015 in the renewable energy sector, generating 35 GW power.

Major Energy Sectors

India is rich in coal and renewable energy sources (solar, wind, hydro and bio-energy sources) but it has very less hydrocarbon reserve (0.4% of world’s reserve). Given the limited domestic fossil fuel reserves,Indiadepends on fossil fuel imports to meet its energy demands. In 2009-10, the import of crude oil alone accounted for 31% of the country’s total imports. So, it has ambitious plans to expand its renewable and nuclear power industries. It envisages increasing the contribution of nuclear power to overall electricity generation capacity from 3% to 9% within 25 years.

Impetus to current nuclear power initiatives has clearly come from the lifting of the 34 year old nuclear technology ban afterIndiaand US signed the nuclear cooperation treaty in 2008. Two things are clear from the above charts. One, there is tremendous scope for contribution from the private sector that produces less than 20% of the national requirement. Two, commitment to reduction in greenhouse gases to mitigate climate change demands that use of coal should be reduced for power generation. Nuclear energy along with renewable sources can achieve this goal.

However, India needs to move with caution because the recent Fukushima nuclear disaster has triggered anti-nuclear sentiments across the world and countries are reviewing their nuclear energy programs. Question people want to ask is: If Japan isn’t capable of protecting its nuclear power plants from earthquakes/tsunamis, is India smarter?

Read here the full report in pdf format: Nuclear_Energy_Scenario_India

About Goodpal

I am a firm believer in healthy people (mind and body both), healthy societies and healthy environment. Please feel free to comment, share and broadcast your views -- I like rational and intellectual discussions. Thanks for stopping by. Have a Good Day!
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13 Responses to Energy and Nuclear Energy Scenario in India

  1. Rewa says:

    i just love all your posts, they are really informative and written in a very interesting manner!

  2. Siri says:

    Have listened to passioned debates on the consequences of Indo US civilian cooperation agreement,some saying india would lose its strategic autonomy and others it would help in nuclear commerce. Would be great if we can know your mature and discerning views. 🙂

  3. Goodpal says:

    If India had right people in the decision making circle, it would have by now taken lead in the solar power generation – learning from Germany which does not even have half of sunlight as we do. But given the lack of foresight, governance deficit, long nurtured mentality of dependency on the West and deep rooted vested interests it signed nuclear deals when rest of the free world is shying away from nuclear power. It is the only stupid technique where you have to worry about safeguarding the “Waste” for the period of all your future generations.

    The argument of increasing energy needs for economic growth will continue to force India to take similar short-sighted decisions in the coming future. However, the more basic issue is the “development” model. One doesn’t need a doctorate in economics to understand that given the huge population and enormous poverty and illiteracy, India needs a “job-centered” economy that can generate millions of jobs for the low-skilled and unskilled population. But our foreign trained rulers take pride in importing the “trickle down” economic model of the US, which exists solely to increase the prosperity of already prosperous minority – and rest of the ordinary humanity folks get hired only to be fired.

    Why are we flooding the markets with cheap factory produced goods from China and killing the livelihood of our own artisans? Ask particularly the Muslim community on this issue. Over 3 lakh farmers killed themselves since 1995 in the so-called economic liberalization and globalization. The ancestral lands of lakhs of simple and naive tribals (called ST) have been handed over to corporate houses for commercial exploitation. What about the livelihood of these poor farmers and tribals?

    After doing all this and many other such things what is the final outcome? GDP growth and expanded bottom-lines of those who were already rich! Garibi Hatao is just a farce, realistically speaking.

    I invite you to find out how many jobs have been created in last 10-15 years and compare it with the population growth of 1.8 crore per year.

    Charm for urbanization is another stupid thing India is fascinated with because that is how the West has developed. In fact, the whole higher education is designed so that the young graduate can find a job in the city! No one is there to ask: why can’t the educated people use their skills in the countryside where they are needed the most? Once in the city their per capita consumption shoots up – and we call it “development”! Why? Because India’s role model, the West, does so!

    We continue doing this and then also find time to complain about environmental problems, diminishing forest cover, global warming and climate change. Why? Because the West, does so!

    Sorry, if all this sound like diversion from the question on nuclear energy I apologize. But the fact is even after 65 years of freedom from the western rule, we have yet to learn how to think through our issues with our own brains and stand on the strength of what we think and believe. Until we do that we are no more than a log floating on the water – at the mercy of waves coming from the West.

    For me, the debate of India losing some “strategic autonomy” or help in “nuclear commerce” are too superficial to worry about. India first needs to learn to put its house in order, develop a long term vision without influence from the West, figure out what its unique strengths are and develop courage to walk on its own path.

    It might be a better idea to become humble enough to learn from our own Amartya Sen and learn what his “human development” model is. It is funny that a country like France can think of benefiting from his ideas but we have surrendered our fate in the hands of a few bureaucrats of the Planning Commission.

    • Siri says:

      Thanks for your comment and digression from the question as well. Now I truly understand the gravity of the decisions we take, about its the effects on artisans, farmers, tribals of our country and about how we clamor the title of emerging economy. Quite distorted approach of jobless growth we pursue. Looking further, it’s threatening to the see the pace of FTAs with Europe and others coming,it’s consequences I cannot foresee now but would sure seem like a disaster for an ordinary man.

  4. Siri says:

    Have you in any of your articles focused upon the consequence of the decisions taken post 1990s exclusively? I’ve read most of your thoughts on human development model of Sen, completely fascinated by it, ever since pondering upon how it can be put to action in our political set up and
    Wondering if true decentralization to villages with people to chose and take decisions on the issues that impact their life can be the answer( like finances on schools vs. subsidies etc.)

  5. Siri says:

    Reading your articles would put things in right perspective and enrich the wisdom. Thanks for your views and articles and keep doing the great work and Inspiring people 🙂

  6. Goodpal says:

    Thanks again Siri. You are a real READER and full of curiosity! I admire that.

    Commenting upon some of the issues you touched above: First, Democracy has nothing to do with elections – it has every thing to do with people sharing their free and frank opinions and coming to conclusions that solve their issues and provide direction to the society. Where are the forums/platforms? Why Gram Sabhas, village panchayats, street meeting, mohalla meetings, townhall meetings etc sound more like anomaly than rule?

    Who is the block development officer (all powerful BDO) or the PWD to decide what kind of facilities my neighborhood needs? I can ask the same question about the Planning Commission; for half a decade it never really bothered to seek the grass-root people what they need in the areas. Is there a single Planning bureaucrat who has done done any planning in his own area? They are just privileged government employees with connections. But for the British administrative machinery we would not have anything called IAS or IPS. You know why the British needed them. But if “free” India has set up real democratic institutions there would have been a chain right from Gram Sabha to the Parliament – and an illiterate Ramsingh farmer of MP or Sonu Soren tribal of Jharkhand had a VOICE.

    Believe me, when people say that in 1947 white rulers transferred power to the brown rulers, they are absolutely right. Just look at the attitude of the IAS, IPS, MP, MLA, ministers – they are “Brown Saab” descendants of the “White Saabs!” For departure of the British from India, we should thank Hitler!!! His WAR (so-called World War-II) weakened England so much that they had to relinquish control of many colonies including India.

    One EAST India Company arrived two and a half century ago, we were helpless and voiceless. Today we are inviting the whole world to come and help us, we are still helpless and voiceless. Isn’t it a perfect slave mentality? And we celebrate independence day each year!!!

    Tell me please if you are a FDI champion like the Congress Philosopher Rahul Gandhi – How the Walmart will help India develop? Don’t tell me that Walmart wants to come here to fight poverty.

    Putting an abrupt brake here… I would just add that we have to learn to think with our brains, our Western masters may not like it but that is real FREEDOM and real INDEPENDENCE.

    Thanks for talking.

    Good Day!

  7. Siri says:

    Probably I should start with Amartya Sen’s books to grasp the full import of the alternate development model 🙂 I think if we can attract the best of Indians with impeccable integrity to politics, some of the serious issues you pointed above will improve, which of course needs far ranging electoral reforms and political will. Truly frightened about the future if we continue to be complacent.

    • Goodpal says:

      It seems like the Aam Aadmi Party is doing or trying to do what you wanted or wished!! Touching on your last sentence: Please stand convinced that if the headless governance of the past 10 year continues even after the 2014 Lok Sabha elections the country is doomed. We are in a situation of losing control on everything – both internal and external. The tremendous youth population is practically sitting without jobs or fruitful employment. Manmohan Singh’s Babus have proved only good to do paper work to please the masters. It is my sincere hope that a two party democracy takes root in 2014 – BJP and AAP. The Congress can only attract and promote sycophancy and servility due to its ownership by a privileged family – absolutely harmful for grass-root Indian democracy.

      The BJP has people high nationalistic and understand India better than most. The Congress rule since 1947 has ensured that Hindus are taken for granted and keep playing the role of a spineless community. Now more and more Hindus are discovering that their welfare is doomed if they encourage the distorted “secularists” in the country. There is no other country in the world where the majority can be taken so lightly.

      The AAP, if preserves its honesty, openness and grass-root connections, will invigorate the grass-root democracy without caste or religious equations. It will allow Dalits and Muslims to become part of national mainstream and escape the narrow leadership that keeps them isolated for vote-bank politics. Thanks to AAP, the anti-corruption voices are becoming more vocal than ever. Common people’s issues of inflation, water, electricity and poverty are taking center-stage of political discourse. Simplicity is now becoming a virtue in Indian politics.

      I personally desire that in June 2014, the BJP comes to power with at least 270 MPs of its own and Narendra Modi as PM. The AAP to come out as the second biggest party and lead the opposition. Due to their culture, the Congress, SP, RJD, DMK and other single family parties should become history in the Indian politics.

      Let’s unite to keep India intact and look for a better future in 2014 which should prove a milestone year.

  8. Goodpal says:

    Yes, I agree. If only we learn to appreciate and cooperate with each other, we will discover that we are among the best in the world. It is the lack of unity among the major community – Hindus – that is the real reason why any Tughlak, Babur or British merchant could plunder India and destroy its social fabric for so many centuries. But the good news is that in last 10-15 years a new awakening has taken place in India that is pointing to the need for a new order. It is time that we all unite, rise and claim our ancient heritage and actualize our true potential.

  9. Siri says:

    Though one can also look at Babur and others as invaders, I also think Islam and Sufism has contributed to the rich composite and inclusive culture that we have today. Don’t you think so?
    And if we give religion a major role in defining nationality in India, I think it could be counter productive. Though Hinduism through its Upanishads have major contributions to the world truly in terms of the philosophical debates and others, the way religion can be misused the wrong way by RSS, BJP and others in the exclusivistic stance is somehow troubling me. Though no doubt I wish Modi to come to power purely for his good governance credentials. And congress is definitely using the secularist agenda in a distorted way. Only hope is that parties like AAP continue to grow big and have a major say in politics.

  10. Goodpal says:

    It was the opulence of India that has attracted looters and barbaric invaders in last 1000 years. Clearly it was a Hindu society pan “Bharat” including what is now Afghanistan. All the goodness of Hindu culture (which is spiritual in nature at the core) and the philosophy of tolerance and forgiveness got exploited due to fragmented nature of the society which by any standard was never barbaric like the West then. People were (and still are) highly moral compared with rest of the world. Can you imagine any other other civilization where a victor king forgives almost 12 times the same invader? Yet, the shameless invader kept attacking repeatedly. But it happened 8-9 centuries ago in India. Can you imagine invaders being absorbed by the victims, as Hindus did for all these centuries? Had the invaders come from a more human culture they would have felt grateful towards Hindus and remorse for their actions and returned the favor. It did not happen. The lesson is clear: Forgiveness is a wonderful human virtue only good humans are capable of, but for pragmatic reasons one has to be also mindful that it is not taken as a weakness or get exploited. Besides, is there a god-given reason that Hindus should always play meek and spineless, and never be assertive?

    The British sowed the virus of India’s division in the brain of Jinnah. Do you know what happened after the Great Pakistan nation was born? Jinnah was sidelined shortly by the first PM of Pakistan and other politicians – there are well known stories of his marginalization by his own sister who was with him till his end.

    Politicians of West Pakistan treated the East Pakistan and Bengali Muslims like its colony and subjects. It failed to stand behind them at the time of Bhola Cyclone of 1970 – perhaps the worst-ever natural disaster in Indian sub-continent killing lalhs of people. Soon after when Mujiburrahman from the East Pakistan emerged victorious in the parliament election, he was ignored by defeated Bhutto of the powerful West Pakistan. A a result, civil war erupted pouring lakhs of refugees in West Bengal and Assam. Indira Gandhi rightly intervened to divide the troublesome neighbor. Just inn 14 days of war 93000 Pak army surrendered ending their heroic tales of rapes and murder of innocent civilians. Mujib’s daughter is now heading a major party in Bangladesh.

    The question no secular ever raised is this: Why Islam failed to the keep Pakistan in-tact? In fact, situation across the world says that it is hardly a uniting or pacifying force.

    Have you heard of Ahmedias and how they are treated in Pakistan? What is this Shia-Sunni divide that only seems to be ever widening? Why any disagreement, if Muslims are involved, is most likely to end up in violence? What is all this “Jehad” stuff? I have well learned and pious Muslim friends who feel ashamed at how easily their co-religions get “off the track” in the name of religion.

    In India, the proportion of Muslims continue to grow after 1947; now they are over 14%. This largest “minority” wants reservations in governments jobs!! There are Mulayam Singh Yadav’s who would do anything for this loyal vote bank!!! What stops the biggest minority community of India to learn from the Sikhs who are almost five times less in number?

    I also invite you to read history of Sikhs and learn why they came in existence only after the wonderful soul called Guru Nanak? All Sikh Gurus are highly revered by even non-Sikhs. This speaks for their Greatness and unthinkable sacrifices for the cause of society. The examples these most respected Teachers of humanity set, are unlikely to be repeated again.

    I invite you to find out why population of Hindus shrunk both in Bangladesh and Pakistan. The fraudulently concluded general elections in Bangladesh just recently have now unleashed an open violence against Hindus!! What is the logic? Hindus are always a soft target. Have you heard anyone raise the issue of Kashimiri Hindus who were driven out 2 decades ago? Is there any champion of their suffering in Hindu dominated India? Yes, VHP, RSS, BJP and other religious organizations. Sadly, whenever they raise Hindu issues they are called communal – ready to break the country!!! What a sick joke on the people of a civilization that thrived on non-violence and tolerance.

    Now coming to your fear of RSS, BJP etc misusing religious sentiments if BJP comes to power. It is another propaganda of “secular” Congress to keep the Muslims fearful so that Muslims stay in its fold forever. I assure you there is nothing in Hindu religion that tells Hindus anything other than spiritual growth. Hate and violence are too foreign concepts to ever become the way of Hindu life. Refreshingly, Muslims of India have now seen through all the ugly game of “secularists” and want to act from reason, rather than phobia promoted by the “secularists.” If Modi of BJP is such a big Hindu Monster why no riots took place in last 11 years in Gujarat? Contrary to the comforts of “secularists” Muslims across India now know who has been exploiting them as pawns in the elections. It is Hindus who go to the Sufi Mazars and love Sufism because it resonates well with vibrations of peace and harmony. Except for a handful politicians of all shades there is no Hindu-Muslim divide in India. If you don’t believe me, look at the world of art, culture, music, business, police, and army. It is good for India if peace living Hindus begin to assert now after watching fragmentation of society and national fabric at the hands of “secularists” for 6 decades.

    AAP’s advent will do another very good thing: It will put an end to another vote-bank – dalits and free them from the clutches of leaders who promote nothing but hatred against Hindus. In that there is no difference between these self serving leaders and “Jehadis” who come from outside. When political ambitions feed on hatred – you have a recipe for eminent disaster.

    Thanks for being an avid learner.

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