According to reports, the future source of power for the country lay in solar energy.
Its infinite availability and scope for direct exploitation in the context of depleting fossil and fuel sources, changing environmental conditions and increasing demand for power, makes it all the more urgent to pay more attention to this source, said, W.S. Aruldoss Kanthiah, former Director, Department of Atomic Energy.
He was delivering a lecture on ‘Energy option for India’ at the Business Line Club meeting of the Post-graduate Department of Business Administration, Velammal Engineering College, Viraganoor, in the outskirts of the city, recently.
The event was sponsored by Tamilnad Mercantile Bank (TMB), Tuticorin.
Making an elaborate presentation on the energy scenario in the country, increasing population, sectoral need for power for development, he said energy security could be best assured only through tapping solar power.
The per capita consumption of electricity is less significant at 778 kWh/year (2011-12) compared to the world average at 2,875 kWh/year.
A six per cent increase in GDP (gross domestic product) would contribute to nine per cent increase in energy demand.
The future demand for power is likely to rise from the current capacity of 2,08,000 MWe to 3,06,000 MWe in 2016-17 and further to 4,25,000 MWe in 2021-22.
A point of note is that the energy intensity, expressed in terms of energy consumption per unit of GDP is high in India pointing to energy wastage compared to countries abroad, he observed.
Listing the problems in the power sector, he said free supply of power, poor pipeline connectivity and infrastructure, inadequate evacuation facilities, high transmission and distribution loss affect severely the scenario in the existing set up.
Shortage of fuel, lack of clean and reliable energy sources, decline in natural gas than expected, slow down in power projects, political activism against nuclear power, Greenhouse gas emissions, and over 300 million people in the country remaining without access to electricity, all point to the need for tapping solar energy and efficient management of systems in the country.
The import dependence as at present needs to be drastically reduced, he said.
He concluded quoting Thomas Edison who said “I would put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we do not have to wait till oil and coal run out before we tackle it” and observed that the affordable electricity supply depended on the solar-technology’s cost competitiveness for grid interactive power generation applications.
Earlier, Ramesh, Manager, TMB, Madurai, spoke about the schemes offered by the bank .
N. Suresh Kumar, Principal, Velammal Engineering College, Viraganoor, delivered the presidential address. C. Selvaraj, Director, welcomed the participants.