India is the 4th largest energy consumer in the world, and it is expected to increase five times by 2030 in order to sustain average 7 per cent economic growth to meet the aspirations of more than one billion population.
Over 70 per cent of India's energy needs are dependent on foreign sources with about 80 per cent of its foreign exchange reserves locked-in for energy imports. This is a serious vulnerability for energy security. India needs to find solutions to enhance its energy Independence. According to a report 'Energy Outlook for Asia and the Pacific' released by Asian Development Bank in 2013, India's energy sector will need USD 2.3 trillion in investments by 2035 and that energy pricing is a core problem in India.
In 2013-14, the Central Electricity Authority report said that the Southern states will witness an electricity deficit of 26.1 per cent, and the demand is likely to go up to 44,670MW, of which only 33,001 MW will be available. And north-east will witness estimated deficit of 10 per cent. In 2010–11, the electricity deficit was 8.5 per cent.
Coal sector will play an important role in providing energy security in India. But in 10 years of the Congress leadership, the monopoly of Coal India has become an albatross for energy security. Hence, one of the first initiatives that the BJP government will have to take would be to ensure that the entry of private sector is allowed by reversing the earlier policy of Coal nationalisation. This will need to be accompanied by setting up an independent regulator for the coal sector to promote competition, good mining practices and to infuse new technology in this vital sector.
In the long run, solar, and nuclear energy will be the game changers. As per the experts, goals should be set to promote solar and wind electricity for providing about 30 per cent of India's requirement by 2030 and to consolidate hydro and nuclear power to provide over 20 per cent of requirements by 2020.
“India’s scriptural wealth with profound scientific knowledge base needs to be explored and exploited for energy generation that is both cost effective and environment friendly.”—Atul Sehgal, Former Deputy Director, Central Electricity Authority
Commitments of BJP
Long Term Goals
-A responsible and comprehensive 'National Energy Policy'.
-Expand and strengthen the national solar mission.
-Focus on development of energy infrastructure, human resource development and upgradation of technology.
-Steps to maximise the potential of oil, gas, ocean, wind, coal and nuclear sources.
-Set up small-hydro power generation projects.
-To avail low-interest loans for Solar Power.
-Effective utilisation of National Clean Energy Fund (NCEF).
-No excuse should be entertained to import a nuclear power plant which is costlier than home based plant.
-Need to promote solar parks.
-Wastage of energy should be checked. Announce task force for review of power field to initiate short term actions to identify bottlenecks, penalise violators, and suggest immediately fruitful remedial actions.