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Experts call for sustainable expansion of India’s Power Industry

According to reports, reflecting on the perceived travails in the Indian energy sector, policymakers, business leaders, experts and stakeholders from across the spectrum rooted for low-carbon sources to generate sustainable power at the Power Industry India 2012 held today.

The two-day conference has been jointly endorsed by The Energy and Resources Institute’s Business Council for Sustainable Development (TERI-BSCD), UK Trade and Investment, Indian Wind Energy Association (InWEA) and the Indian Power Producers Association of India, and enjoys the

support of the Ministry of Coal and Ministry of Power, Government of India.

In her keynote address at the inaugural session, Executive Director, TERI, Dr. Leena Srivastava said, “Energy efficiency and demand generation are two sides of the same coin and we need to focus on this aspect. While work is going on to meet the increasing demand, the focus lies on providing renewable solutions. We need to work towards renewable solutions rather than ones which would perish easily.”

Dr. Srivastava also presented an overview of the Indian energy sector in her opening remarks, and shed lights on the challenges posed by the growing policy paralysis at the government end. “While the present energy situation is grim, it can turn worse in the coming years if we continue business as usual and do not introduce radical changes in the system. We need to work at a faster pace because 289 million people in India are without electricity and we need to take immediate steps to realise our dream of being a global superpower,” she added.

Identifying key sectoral challenges, Former Secretary, Ministry of Power, Mr. Anil Razdan, provided insight on the central faced by power producers in the current scenario. “The time is right for action, we need to add capacity and find fuel for that. There is price to pay for energy today.

Regulators need to get wise and active. We cannot afford to have the kind of blackouts that happened recently, as it will be disastrous for the economy if such occurrences recur. Systems need to be upgraded by installing smart components in them,” Mr. Razdan asserted. “Smart grids today are not a luxury but a necessity. India needs 130 million smart metres by 2020,” he added.

Speakers further underscored the crucial role played by India’s power sector in meeting national growth targets and realising global aspirations.

A popular view that emerged from the discussions was that owing to rising demand and threat to environment, it was pertinent to effectively utilise low-carbon sources to generate clean energy.

Exploring the potential for India to emerge as a solar-based economy, delegates also exchanged views on developing energy ecosystems to enhance

efficiency while reducing the environmental impact.

Some of the main themes featured at the event were the ‘Impact of privatisation, price, reliability of supply and competition in the national power market,’ ‘Developing India’s Domestic Nuclear Technology,’ and ‘An Investor’s Perspective of the Opportunities in the Indian Power Market.’

Power Industry India2012 seeks to build consensus on the need for sustainable power by providing a platform to institutions to hold extensive discussions while creating awareness on the issue of energy security among diverse stakeholders.

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