1.The Round-table recognised that energy access is critical for energy security. It took note of the fact that 80 million households are still to be provided with electricity and energy. This denies them a fair share of economic growth, access to livelihood, education, healthcare, transportation, entertainment etc.
It was strongly felt that we would, as a nation be energy secure only when we are able to meet the basic energy needs of the entire population on a sustainable basis and at affordable prices.
India needs to proceed with utmost caution on its civil nuclear deal with the United States.
The pathbreaking agreement, dramatically ‘operationalised’ in a 25 January meeting with India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi by U.S. President Barack Obama during his three-day state visit to India, has raised high expectations in both countries and elevated their partnership to a new dimension. However, the advancements made by India in the atomic energy sector compel the question whether the country needs to be buttonholed into such an arrangement.
This paper seeks to address factors that led to the Indo-US civil nuclear deal, initial expectations, how those expectations evolved over time, policy drivers that keep the two parties from reaching a rapid closure on the issue, and what it will take to make this deal a success.
There is this apocryphal story of how three men reacted on seeing a pedestrian ahead of them falling into a ditch. While the one immediately following the victim too fell into the ditch, the second person avoided the pothole saving himself whereas the third man got hold of a cover, covered the ditch and made a safe path for himself and others to cross the ditch.
It is a paradox that India, which is the fifth largest producer of electricity at approximately 2,12,000 MW, is also the lowest per capita consumer of electricity at 704 units as compared with 13616 units in the United States of America, a world average of 2752 units, with even China having a per capita consumption of 2328 units. There is obviously a total mismatch between the size of our population and the quantum of power generated by us. Of the power generated, a whopping 66.91 percent is accounted for by thermal power.
Energy an Indicator of Growth and a Measure of Comprehensive National Power
Energy is an important ingredient for accelerating development because its consumption pattern is the measure of the growth of a nation. Its availability/ lack of it, is also an important element in the measurement of a country’s the comprehensive national power. To have a quick reality check, as on date, India’s per capita energy consumption is as low as 700 kWh while the world average is 2,500 kWh and for many of the developed countries the figure is as high as 15,000 kWh.1