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Will india meet surplus electric power production in 2013?

Energy is the most fundamental requirement of every nation as it progresses through the ladder of development. Of course, once it reaches a relative degree of development, the energy demand becomes more stable. There is a distinct and categorical correlation between the energy consumption and income of a nation — each reinforcing the other. Every step into progress comes with an addition of demand for energy — cars, ships and aircraft to move, hospitals to give quality healthcare, education, as it follows the model of e-connectivity, production of more and better goods, irrigation for better farming.

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In India, the electricity is being generated from different sources such as using Coal, Hydro electric power plants, Solar Energy, Wind power, Nuclear Fuels etc. But more than 50% of electricity is being generated from Coal which is also called as Type-0 fuel. The Jharia coalfields in Jharkhand constitute the richest coal-bearing area in the country: they contain large quantities of high grade coking coal. Also in India power generated through nuclear power plants such as Kudamkulam, Tarapur and Kakrapur, wind power plants such as Muppandal, Tamil Nadu and recently Gujarat government started 500MW solar power plant. Apart from this India buys electricity from Countries like Bhutan and Nepal. In India, overall energy consumption per year is 1, 50,000MW and per capita usage of electricity in developed counties like US is Fourteen times more than in India. It is easily understood that as country progresses, is energy needs also increases. According to the 12th Planning commission, it is understood that more focus will be on manufacturing sector which has more energy requirement. Being India the 8th largest producer of Wind energy and has the larger scope of generating solar electricity from different states like Rajasthan, Gujarat etc, there is a lot of opportunity in India for the energy production which requires only initial capital and little maintenance.

In addition to that, Type – I fuel -Thorium is 90th element in the periodic table, slightly lighter than Uranium and available in the purer form. It is believed that the amount of energy contained in the Thorium resources is more than the combined total energy that is left out in Petroleum, coal, other fossil fuels and Uranium. So being largest owner of Thorium and also being amongst the nations which will see highest surge in power demand with its growth, India has an opportunity to pursue its existing nuclear program with more focus on R&D using Thorium as a long-term option. Various Technologies for Thorium based plants are already being developed and deployed on a test basis in India which has a promising future. Also there is comparatively less impact on ecology when India adapts to Nuclear energy rather than depending more on Coal.

So it is clearly understood that India will have more electricity need in 2013 than 2012 and India will be a electricity surplus country in 2013 provided it better make use of the existing resources and more focus on using Type-1 fuel than Type - 0 by overcoming the internal aggressions such as Kudankulam Nuclear power plant and by maintaining good relationship with other nations because India is more dependent on other countries like France, US, Germany, Australia for the nuclear fuel. Also steps taken by government such as newly introduction of Mines and Minerals Development and Regulation act, 2011 will helpful for better make use of our nation's natural fuel resources for our country's benefit. In India, Power theft is a very big concern because nearly 20-30 % of the electricity is wasted by power theft. So this must be prohibited at any cost. Also government should make people aware about the necessity of saving power for the future.

-Bharath Akkera