India President outlines energy independence plan

The Indian President, Dr. A.P. J. Abdul Kalam, has addressed the topic of energy independence in his speech to the 94th Indian Science Congress in Tamil Nadu. Raising his concerns for the level of carbon dioxide production through energy production, Dr. Kalam stated that he wanted to focus on how India can contribute in minimising carbon dioxide emissions. Currently, power generation capacity in India stands at 130,000 MW, but this is forecasted to increase to 400,000 MW by 2030. To achieve this massive boost in output, a range of different technologies will be required including large scale solar farms, wind farms, nuclear power plants, solid biomass and municipal waste. Power generated from renewable energy sources is hoped to increase from five percent today to twenty five percent by 2030.

India's partnership in the US FutureGen project to create the first zero emission fossil fuel plant was also highlighted. When operational, the prototype will be the cleanest fossil fuel fired power plant in the world.

On the transportation side, Dr. Kalam went on to say that India presently imports around 100 million tonnes of crude oil with a foreign exchange outflow of Rs. 1,50,000 Cr. per annum (nearly US $34 billion). This will rise to 300 million tonnes of imports by 2030 at present growth rates. Plans to reduce these imports include producing ethanol and biodiesel for blending at levels of 30 percent to 40 percent with petrol and diesel respectively. Biodiesel is set to be produced from 20 million hectares of Jatropha Curcas plantations, which is one third of the present waste land available in the country where Jatropha can be planted. At the same time though, he urged that research continue on future technologies like hydrogen.

[Source: Indian Press Information Bureau]

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