The Indian Power and Energy Sector

The spark which begun when two stones struck in the process of human evolution is the earliest known form of energy and power discovered by us. Humans, in the race of growing fast, smart and having potentials across self sustainability have dug deep in every possible source to generate power and energy. Everything around us need power for manufacturing or processing. In the search of more alternatives we have experienced severe disasters too: 1984 Bhopal, 1986 Chernobyl and Hiroshima and Nagasaki are mere examples but on a bigger scale.
Hopefully, we have learnt from our mistakes and thus came with much more cost effective, safe and green renewable sources of energy to grow and to meet future demands of power.
At the point of independence, British left us with steam, coal and diesel powered locomotive engine and factories which were less effective and more pollution causing. In the history of 68 years of India, it has done a commendable job as far as the search and harnessing of more renewable sources of energy are concerned. In 1980 India set a different governmental ministry of Conventional Energy Sources to mark and take out the hidden potential of vast renewable sources as India will become the largest contributor to the increase in global energy of about 18% of total global demands. The ministry has helped India in adopting best state of the art technologies for healthy, safe and a green future. In the early days of our independence Jawaharlal Nehru got above the idea of self sustainable India by Mahatma Gandhi and told scientists to start their nuclear projects and aim to go global, Dr. Homi Jehangir Bhabha was the first to work on his dream of Nuclear powered India.
Now, India is the 4th biggest consumer of energy in the world. It uses crude oil, natural gas, coal, nuclear energy, hydro electricity, wind power, biomass and solar power sources to generate energy in different forms for a landmass of 125 crore population.
Though, we import about 70% of our crude oil used daily and 70% of our electricity is generated by burning fossil fuels we have managed to take out alternatives and schemes which are cost effective and have given positive results too.
When 56% of our population is not connected with electricity the 35.5% of population lives with no electricity even though they have got the connection. The scheme of the current government to provide LED bulbs on subsidy which will reduce power consumption and will dilute the chances of total breakdown at the peak hours. The scheme saved ₹100 crore in the last financial year and brought down the cost of LED’S too.
India is experiencing several rollout’s in many key sectors for conserving energy and growing at a faster rate.
The conventional source ministry has marked every resource we have and they have set goals for future turning India into a nation which is run totally on the renewable ways.
Excerpts of our conventional sector of energy-
* India is home to 5th largest Wind power generation potential. Harnesses 23,444 MWh or 2.6% of total electricity generation of 2014-15.
* India has 4th largest clean coal reserves in the world which accounts 54.4% of total annual energy consumption.
* Scientists have found ways to use coal for power generation in different gaseous and liquid forms thus reducing the pollution causing level.
* With 18 nuclear power plants under construction, India will become the second highest country for nuclear power generation.
* Radioactive material Thorium will replace Uranium as the fuel for nuclear plants as Thorium Is found in abundance and gives hundred times more energy than the same amount of uranium.
* India has 5th largest hydro electricity power potential in the world and 6th in the actual generation.
But, there is one sector which is doing an appreciable work, The Solar Power sector. The major step was taken by Gujarat government to sanction loans and putting land acquisition process on a fast track mode for thousands of square feet’s of land for solar parks. Charanka solar park in Patan and Gujarat canal solar power project on 19,000 km of Narmada river ate the biggest parks in their own category. Soon, India will become the first and the largest producer of electricity from solar parks. By the process of establishing solar parks on the canals, it saves water from respiration and takes less land providing double benefits. 2000 MW of Solar power is the aim for the year 2016. If we harness solar electricity from 1% land of whole India it will give 1.33 million MW of total energy. On an average India has 8% of total barren and wastelands which are fit for the establishment of solar parks, if we set a goal to plant solar cells on this 8% of land we will have 2000 billion kwh of electricity (2X of total 2013-14 consumption) with land productivity of 1.5 million rupees per acre which is at par with many industrial areas and many times more than the highest productive agricultural land. In 1977 A solar silicon PV cell costs 76 US dollars and now the price has come down to 0.30US dollars due to the increase in demand in Indian subcontinent.
Ministry lead by PIYUSH GOEL is doing good and must be appreciated at every platform to keep the good work on.

By Ayush Verma,
Editor – DU Times