Monday, December 22, 2008

India will have to reduce energy consumption by 20%

Economic Times | Some sections view the current economic meltdown as a direct fall-out of consumption exceeding money supply. Power policy makers of the country seem to have stuck on the analogy to caution energy consumption in urban India.

“In fact, we need to expand energy consumption in this country, mainly to the two-thirds of our population who have scarce or no access to electricity, and non-biomass fuels,” said Planning Commission principal adviser (energy) Surya P Sethi. India’s per capita consumption of power is 20% the world average, 4% that of the US, and 28% that of China.

“To achieve a desirable human development index growth, the present power consumers will have to cut their usage by 20%, by which growth may come down by a percentage point or two”. Speaking at the panel discussion on sustainable electricity in India, at Pan IIT, an IIT alumni conference, at the Indian institute of technology Madras on Saturday, he said the situation was potentially explosive unless we invest talent, technology and innovation in equitable allocation of basic resources like energy, water and land.To achieve 20% energy conservation we need to increase the energy efficiency of our appliances by 20%, he said.

“Theft happens 90% in urban industrial lines, and not in rural areas, as many of us have misconceived,” Mr Sethi said. “As electricity is stolen only to be consumed, the basic problem is a supply-demand mismatch.” According to AES corporation director Sanjeev Agarwal, the three main issues hindering the advancement of power projects in India are land acquisition, environmental clearance and evacuation infrastructure.