New Delhi, Apr 18: President A P J Abdul Kalam today said the country's nuclear power capacity would be scaled up from the current 2,720 MWs to 24,000 MWs by 2020.
In his address at the inauguration of the South Asian Conference on Renewable Energy here, Dr Kalam said Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) is expecting the capacity to be 24,000 MWs by 2020.
''Hence there is a need to plan right now to increase this capacity to 50,000 MWs by 2030'', the President said.
He said the country's nuclear power generation has been given a thrust by the use of uranium based fuel. However, to meet the increased needs of nuclear power generation, it is essential to pursue the development of nuclear power using thorium reserves within the country.
''Technology development has to be accelerated for Thorium based reactors since the raw material for thorium is abundantly available in our country''.
It is in this context that to maximise the thorium utilisation the development of Fast Breeder Reactor has been rightly taken up.
Giving a perspective, the President said the energy consumption from renewable resources has to be maximised for all nations irrespective of their economic status if the world has to remain a livable habitat for future generations.
Dr Kalam said most of the knowledge from various research and development agencies on renewable energy is in the form of technical reports, best practices and experimental results. He urged the conference to symbiotically combine the experience of all the scientists and engineers of south Asian countries to make interactive consultancy for encouraging people to use non-conventional energy.
He also asked the conference to consider creation of different multi-national technical task teams for various areas of renewable energy programmes such as solar, wind, biofuel,geothermal and tidal.
There should also be a road map for the percentage of energy consumption to be met by renewable energy at global and national levels.
For meeting the development targets of India the power generating capacity has to increase to 4,00,000 MW by 2030 from the existing 1,30,000 MW of power. This has got to be achieved through three different sources namely hydel capacity, nuclear power and non-conventional energy sources primarily through solar energy. The hydel capacity generated through inter-linking of rivers is expected to contribute additional 50,000 mw of power.
Large scale solar energy farms of 100's of mw capacity in certain number could contribute around 55,000 MW. The nuclear power plants should have a target of 50,000 MW of power. The balance has to be generated through the conventional thermal plants through coal and gas and other renewable sources of energy such as Wind power, Biomass, power through municipal waste and solar thermal power, the President said.
The strategic goals for Energy Independence by 2030 would call for a shift in the structure of energy sources. Firstly, fossil fuel imports need to be minimized and secure access to be ensured.
Maximum hydro and nuclear power potential should be utilized, apart from the use of coal and gas based thermal power generation. The most significant aspect, however, would be that the power generated through renewable energy technologies has to be increased to 25 per cent against the present 5 per cent.
'' It would be evident that for true Energy Independence, a major shift in the structure of energy sources from fossil to renewable energy sources is mandated,'' the President said.