Energy Independence need of the hour: Kakodkar

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Bangalore, Feb 18 (UNI) Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) Chairman Anil Kakodkar today said in the present energy scenario there is a need for achieving 'Energy Independence' rather than sustainability.

Speaking after inaugurating a training programme on 'Energy Security and Management' organised by the National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS) here, he said ''the need of the hour is to achieve Energy Independence rather than being satisfied with sustainability.

Dr Kakodkar said ''the country would face 20 per cent to 30 per cent shortage, even if we exploit maximum of the available resources by 2050 for generating 1300 Gigawatt of power.'' The Chairman said efforts were on to develop clean-fold technology to utilise coal properly. Steps were taken to produce energy from Thorium and utilisation of Uranium reserve was also in progress, he added.

He said ''in India the rate at which the demand for an increase in power, was unprecedented against existing 61,000 tonnes of Uranium, 2,25,000 tonnes of Thorium. There was need for development of reprocessing and recycling technology for the success of Fast Breeder Reactors, he added.

NIAS Director K Kasturirangan, in his welcome address said, ''a new paradigm of energy security is needed to address our development goals, which are environment friendly and leads to sustainability development. Energy consumption is necessary for economic growth of the country and need of the hour, therefore, is to acknowledge the important challenges to country's energy security.'' The Director said with growing concern over environment and problems of political and bureaucratic inertia, the external challenge lies in getting continuous supply of energy at reasonable prices, as domestic production was low.

Dr Kasturirangan said though India was among the global leaders in the development and deployment of renewable energy techniques, the need of the hour was for sustained efforts in frontline research and development.

He said the country's energy security depends on its uninterrupted supply to support commercial and economic activities for sustained economic growth and also to reduce dependence on imported energy sources.

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