Chemical Industries Association has suggested certain short, medium and long term measures to the Central government to overcome the current energy crisis in the country. In a letter to the Centre, the Association stated that the price of petrol and diesel have been constantly increasing. The government seems to be finding adhoc solutions for India’s energy crisis by keeping on increasing the price of petrol and diesel at regular interval, which is leading to cost push inflation and adverse chain effects.
The Association mentioned that with two third of country’s outflow of foreign exchange now being constituted by import of fuel, India’s dependence on import of energy source has reached alarming level. However, growth in energy consumption is inevitable. If the GDP growth were to increase at 8 per cent per annum, the energy consumption has to increase at around 10 per cent per annum.
Under the circumstances, it is necessary to develop appropriate energy source for India in tune with India’s tropical conditions, climate and geography, to reduce the import of fuel, it stated. For short term, the Association recommends creating awareness amongst citizens about the energy crisis faced by the country and that the government has to come out with appropriate incentive programmes to industries and other services sector for conserving energy.
For medium term, the Association suggests promoting Jatropha biofuel as substitute for diesel. It also impressed upon the need for boosting polycrystalline production for solar power projects. It stated that though the government of India has set up a target of 20000 Megawatt for solar power by 2022, the progress so far have not been at the required pace. The basics of solar power industry in India are weak, since India is not presently producing poly crystalline silicon, which is the basic starting material for solar power industry. Ten tonnes of polycrystalline silicon is required for every megawatt of solar power capacity creation. The country is dependent on import of poly crystalline silicon and the Indian solar power industry is vulnerable to the international supply and price pressure for polycrystalline silicon.
For long term, the Association recommends promoting algae biofuel as substitute for petroleum. The production of algae bio fuel in a big way is likely to take place in developed countries between 2015 and 2020 and the production has now already commenced. In India, nothing has been done in this sector in spite of India’s obvious advantages. Apart from this, development of offshore wind power projects have also been suggested by the association as a long term measure to overcome energy crisis.