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Thursday, October 16, 2008

India's nuclear power share may reach 20 percent by 2050

India has said that nuclear energy could meet as much as 20 percent of the energy demand in India by 2050 with plans to increase per c
apita availability of electricity to 1000 units in the next four years.

"Through international cooperation and domestic development, nuclear energy could meet as much as 20 percent of the energy demand in India by 2050, adding potentially tens of thousands of megawatts of nuclear energy capacity in the country," Indian Power Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said here Wednesday.

"We plan to increase per capita availability of electricity to 1000 units by the year 2012 by harnessing various sources of energy in the cleanest possible way. Enhancing energy supply and access is, therefore, a key component of our national development strategy," he said.

Shinde was delivering a keynote address at the daylong 'Green India Summit' jointly organized by the US-India Business Council and the Confederation of Indian Industry.

The event also featured addresses by the US Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez, Special Envoy to the Indian Prime Minister on Climate Change, Shyam Saran, as well as former US Secretary of Defence and USIBC Board Member William S. Cohen.

"The historic India-US civil nuclear initiative, which has enabled India to resume nuclear commerce with the United States and other countries, will give a major boost to India's nuclear energy programme and, therefore, our ability to reduce our dependence on fossil fuel," Shinde said.

Noting that India has made significant advances in its domestic three-stage nuclear programme, Shinde said: "Nuclear energy, which currently accounts for less than 3 percent of the domestic capacity, will constitute an important component of India's energy mix in the future."

India also hoped that that the signing of the agreements with the US and France will pave the way for early commencement of commercial arrangements, he said.

India and the US share a common concern regarding the energy crisis and have an effective ongoing cooperation programme, Shinde said suggesting that cleaner power development technologies must be developed and shared through international cooperation.

Earlier, inaugurating the conference, Indian ambassador to the US Ronen Sen said the landmark nuclear deal "should now usher in a new era of mutually beneficial bilateral cooperation, including for addressing our shared challenges of energy security and climate change."

As "Energy is a key element of our bilateral agenda," Sen said: "India-US cooperation can be an important component of this strategy. This will not be merely for the benefit of our two countries. The solutions we create could also be applied elsewhere in the world."

"However, whatever the two governments do, the full potential of India-US cooperation can only be realised if private sectors in both our countries substantially increase their engagement," he added.

Represented at the summit were several blue-chip US companies like Dow Chemical, General Electric and Weston Solutions associated with clean technologies and renewable energy, including civil nuclear power, committed to extensive collaboration and technology transfer.

Focusing on the necessity of meeting India's infrastructure demands by implementing state-of-the-art, environmentally sustainable technologies, HSBC India CEO, Naina Lal Kidwai, said India represents one of the most promising destinations for clean technology investment

"The United States and India have embarked on a remarkably constructive journey together," said USIBC President Ron Somers. "Green India will be the first in a series of summits to be held in the US and India during alternate years to energise this important dialogue."

(Source: Times of India)

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