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President Kalam sets road map to achieve energy independence

Special Correspondent

He calls for increasing power generation capacity to 400,000 MW by 2030


President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam releases two books — ``Citizens at Work'' and ``Cleaner is Cheaper'' — at the TERI Corporate Awards Ceremony in New Delhi on Monday. He is flanked by the former Chief Justice of India, Justice J.S. Verma, and Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit.

NEW DELHI: President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam has called for increasing the power generation capacity to 400,000 MW by 2030 from the existing 130,000 MW to achieve energy independence, keeping in mind the progress visualised for the nation in the next two decades.

This figure has been arrived at taking into account the use of efficient transmission and distribution system and minimisation of other losses, Mr. Kalam said after presenting The Energy and Research Institute (TERI) Corporate Awards here on Monday. Energy independence has to be achieved through three different sources, namely hydel capacity, nuclear power and non-conventional energy sources primarily through solar energy, apart from thermal power in the wake of depleting reserves of fossil-based oil, coal and gas reserves.

Setting a target of 50,000 MW of power from the nuclear power plants, Mr. Kalam said the hydel capacity generated through normal water sources and inter-linking of rivers is expected to contribute an additional 50,000 MW. Large-scale solar energy farms of hundreds of megawatts capacity could contribute around 55,000 MW. The balance 115,000 MW has to be generated through the conventional thermal plants using coal and gas and other renewable sources of energy such as wind power, biomass, municipal waste and solar thermal power.

"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," he said. The energy mix for energy independence envisages the use of hydel and thermal till coal availability, solar power using high efficiency Carbon Nano Tube (CNT)-based Photo Voltaic (PV) cells, thorium based nuclear reactors and bio-fuel for transportation.

"We need to embark on a programme in solar energy systems and technologies, for both large, centralised applications as well as small, decentralised requirements concurrently, for applications in both rural and urban areas," he said. So far, the present nuclear power capacity of 14 reactors, that is 2,700 MW, is expected to go up to 7,400 MW by 2010 with the completion of nine reactors.

Eventually, as per the plan of the Bhaba Atomic Research Centre (BARC) and the Nuclear Power Corporation, the capacity is expected to increase to 24,000 MW by 2020.

There is a need to plan right from now to increase this capacity to 50,000 MW by 2030.

Mr. Kalam said that for realising the production of 60 million tonnes of bio-diesel per annum by 2030 (this would be 20 per cent of anticipated oil consumption in 2030), a coordinated plan for achieving 6 million tonnes production by 2010, which would be 5 per cent of the present import of oil, needed to be put in place.

The eight corporates that received the awards for excellence in environmental protection and for fulfilling social responsibility are: Sakthi Masala Ltd., Hindustan Lever Ltd., Singareni Colleries, Northern Coalfields, the Madras Aluminium Company, Mecpro Heavy Engineering Ltd., Usha Martin and Solaris Chemtech Ltd.

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