Jammu, Sep 23 (UNI) To sustain the tempo of encouraging growth at the rate at 8 to 10 per cent, India needs 7,7,00,000 MW of electricity, renowned energy scientist Prof N K Bansal said.
Prof Bansal, Vice-Chancellor of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University, Katra (Jammu), speaking at a seminar on 'Recent advances in wind and hydro power generation' called for seven-fold increase in India's primary energy supply and uninstalled power capacity to meet the growing challenges.
''This is a formidable challenge since the coal and gas is limited and seven per cent oil is imported,'' he said, asserting that India is endeavouring to acquire gas pipeline from Iran via Pakistan to import more gas to supplement its growing energy as the country's reserves will not last long.
''When one considers power sector, the scene on this front is rather grim. There is a shortage of electricity to run the ever-growing 'economic' machine, to which the needs of Indian middle class are added.'' Therefore, Prof Bansal said, ''India has option to go for a mix fuel supply with coal as primary energy source.'' The country's hydro power potential is of 1,50,000 MW which can be harnessed, the Vice Chancellor suggested. ''The hydro capacity cannot be used to meet the base load and has to be compensated by either coal or nuclear.'' ''India's existing nuclear programme is based on CANDU type of technology, which has limitation and because of this factor the nuclear capacity in 60 years has remained only 4,020 MW,'' the energy scientist said, maintaining that light water reactor technology with enriched uranium is normally more economical.