Wednesday, January 11, 2012
India needs 800 terawatt hour power annually if it wants to give reasonable quality of life to citizens, says Dr Anil Kakodkar
Hyderabad: Eminent nuclear scientist Dr Anil Kakodkar has said only nuclear
energy would help India achieve the target of 5000 kWh per capita consumption
of electricity that would push the country on the human development index of 1.
“The per capita electricity consumption in the country at present is
10 times less than the target of 5000 kwh. We thus need to generate 10
times more power and this is possible only through nuclear and solar
energy. This is a huge task and we can achieve this by 2050. If we
reach the per capita of 5000 kWh, India will reach the human
development index closer to 1,” Dr Kakodkar said.
Addressing Dr M Channa Reddy Memorial Lecture here on January 5, Dr Kakodkar,
who earlier served as the chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, said
electricity constitutes a key input for enhancing quality of life in
society. “Indian population is expected to stabilize at around 1.6
billion. Thus to support a reasonable quality of life for our people,
we need 800 TWh (terawatt hour) annually. This would need a generation
capacity of around 1400 GWe (gigawatt electric). The additional
electricity that we would need to generate would be around 40 per cent
of current electricity generation worldwide,” he added.
He regretted that the per capita consumption of electricity in the
country is four times below the world average. “If the consumption in
developed nations is not taken into account, even then we would be two
times below the average of developing nations. China is marching
forward in meeting the energy needs through nuclear sources,” he
Projecting thorium and solar energy as the two major sources of
electricity to meet the future needs of the country, Dr Kakodkar said
adding that nuclear capacity augmentation is thus important both for
more electricity production and for enhanced capacity of conversion of
Thorium into nuclear fuel.
“Now that embargoes on Indian nuclear programme have eased out, we can
in fact speed up this process. This would help over come immediate
electricity shortages and also enable earlier deployment of thorium on
a largescale,” Dr Kakodkar observed.
Giving the example of the new Indian concept reactor AHWR 300-LEU, he
said nuclear power plants are safe and advanced nuclear technology has
helped in making them more secure from external and internal sabotage.