India is among fastest developing nations and is expected to be a major economic power by 2020. The economic progress of India in the coming years will rely heavily on its ability to achieve and maintain energy security.
Currently, India faces significant deficit in its ability to supply electricity for industrial as well as civil consumption. Although India is rapidly adding installed capacity, challenges exist on fuel security, pilferage, high transmission & distribution losses. As a result, even today around one-third of households do not have access to electricity and even urban areas face power cuts. Lack of adequate energy assess is reflected in human development index (HDI) of India (in 2012, ranked 136 out of 187 countries).
Although planning and policy development are shaping up well, there are serious challenges on energy governance, pricing of resources and power tariffs. Lack of access to finance for both consumers and producers substantially impedes the growth of much needed infrastructure. Consistent policy messages and effective support programmes are needed to ensure that all stakeholders (developers, suppliers, discoms and general public) are aligned towards the overall energy goals.
Today, India has the fifth largest installed capacity worldwide for electricity. India’s energy mix is dependent mainly on coal, oil and gas which are the source of more than 70% power generation, most of which is imported. With this dependence expected to increase, the country needs assured access to imported energy supplies in addition to new energy related technologies. Towards this, the government needs to promote economic partnership with countries that have energy resources and technologies. Nuclear energy forms less than 3% of power generation whereas renewable energy has steadily risen to above 12%.
Amid rising coal imports, climate change pressures and growing energy demand, India will have to strongly focus on more environmental-friendly solutions. AREVA, with its range of large-scale and low CO2 energy solutions, aims to support India’s sustainable growth by facilitating the country to meet its growing power needs.