M A I N   N E W S

Kalam calls for energy independence

New Delhi, May 7
President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam today said there was a serious and immediate need for power reforms and energy independence as the country had a small portion of oil and natural gas resources compared to its huge population.

“India has 17 per cent of the world's population, but only about 0.8 per cent of the world's known oil and natural gas resources. The power generating capacity has to be increased from current 1,30,000 MW. This would take into consideration energy economy plans and the design and production of energy efficient equipments and systems,” Dr Kalam said addressing the Business world-FICCI-SEDF Corporate Social Responsibility Award function here.

He said that fossil fuels were depleting and there was non-stop environment degradation due to unrestricted use of fossil material used for generating energy. The only answer to these problems was energy independence.

“Energy independence can be attained through electrical power from nuclear energy, renewable energy — solar, wind and hydro power, bio fuel for the transportation sector,” he said.

Energy independence, the President said, throws very important technological challenges to the world. Solar cell efficiency has to increase from the present 15 to 20 per cent to 45 to 50 per cent through intensified research on Carbon Nano Tube (CNT) based solar cells. For thorium reactors, as it is known, thorium is a non-fissile material. It has to be converted into a fissile material using fast breeder technology.

In the bio-fuel area, the challenge is bio-fuel plantation for the higher output and the modification to automobile power plants, Dr Kalam added.

The President said the three research areas required cooperation between both Europe and India.

“I had suggested setting up of an 'Indo-EU Renewable Energy Development Programme' for taking up advanced R&D in all forms of renewable energy, leading to the availability of commercial class large-scale power plants within the next decade,” Dr Kalam said.

He said industrial houses can take up urgent action for conservation of energy, promoting use of renewable energy, to the maximum extent, in their plants and facilities.

They can also work in the development of solar energy systems and wind energy systems either on standalone mode or in partnership with Indian companies or European companies for providing cost effective energy sources to the community, he added. — UNI



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