India managed 9 pc growth rate with lesser energy growth rate

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Mumbai, Apr 27 (UNI) India managed to maintain a growth rate of nine per cent since 2004 with less than four per cent growth per annum in energy.

The reduction of dependency on energy during the country's economic growth has also softened the blow of global oil price rise on Indian industries. This has been achieved by sustainable patterns of consumption, enhanced competitiveness and proactive policies in implementing energy saving -- Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) by industries across the board, government policies and an awareness among the population.

In the global arena also, India is increasingly looked upon as a frontrunner in promotion of clean environment and carbon emission control, inspite of being not binded by the Kyoto Protocol and fossil fuels are calculated to still provide nearly 80 per cent of the country's primary energy demand in 2030.

''Rapid change in our energy profile from a fossil fuel-based one to an environmentally-friendly one will not only save us from global downturns, but is also important for our security and self-interest,'' former Union Power Minister Suresh Prabhu observed.

Sounding of a warning, Mr Prabhu said that India still had a long way to go in meeting the energy demands of the country.

''Go to UP and Bihar, you'll find villages that don't receive power for 21 hours in a day,'' he said. Countries like China who are perceived as openly flouting carbon emission regulations, are investing in alternative sources of power, he added.

''Major energy sources, like coal and oil are all non-renewable having limits to their availability and quality... Global economies are becoming dependent on renewable sources of energy like wind, hydro-electricity, bio-gas, bio-fuel and solar energy,'' Forward Market Commission (FMC) Chairman B C Khatua said.

According to International Energy Agency (IEA) findings, though India produces 660 billion KWh of electricity, over 600 million -- equal to the population of US and EU combined -- still have no access to electricity and limited access to other clean and modern fuels.

''I believe, the problem lies not so much in production but in it's transmission and distribution. May be localised production and distribution of alternative power should be taken up,'' Mr Prabhu pointed out.

''India has a number of fields it can tap -- nuclear, wind and sea from its 7,000 km coastline, solar, biomass, the list can go on,'' he said.

Halting reforms, slow investments, wasteful production processes, hurdles in technology transfer, high initial costs and wastage in transmission and distribution could spoil the country's journey to greendom, Mr Prabhu added.

On the brighter side, share of renewable energy in the total primary energy is 34 per cent with efficiency in energy efficiency of Indian plants is among the highest in the world and a strong heritage of nurturing nature that could pay rich dividends in the coming decades.

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