India is a very large country not only in terms of population but also in terms of area and the gross domestic product (GDP) which is increasing at around 7-8% in spite of the global economic slow-down. The increasing share of tertiary and secondary sectors of economy in the GDP will really need increasing amount of power supply and for this there will be need for upgradation of the existing power grid and development of new sources of electricity production based on nuclear power and hydel power which will be more sustainable keeping in
view the shortage of conventional sources of energy like coal and petroleum.
India has a large reserve of thorium which can be converted into useful fuel with the improvement in the nuclear fuel technology. It should be remembered that India’s domestic uranium reserves are small and the country is dependent on uranium imports to fuel its nuclear power industry. Since 1990s, Russia former USSR has been a major supplier of nuclear fuel to India. In recent years we, have tried to make deal for fuel with Australia and we are exploring other venues of buying uranium from other countries. There is need for investing in the technology development for thorium enrichment and development of reactors reactors capable of using thorium as a fuel.
Another bright and promising option is hydro-electricity generation which can be expedite in the states like Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir and other hilly states. The scope of development of hedel power is immense in these states.
There is small but some scope for development of wind mills in the states of Gujrat, Maharastra, Rajasthan and other coatal states of India.
The ministry for renewable energy must take initiative to harness these existing sources of energy and promote the technology development for the use of solar energy in for the streetlighting and water heating. This can be promoted through the development controls devised by urban planners and policy makers.
We are steadily but slowly moving towards the optimum utilisation of the available sources of energy.
Shashikant Nishant Sharma