I recently attended a talk on the 'Future of India's Energy Security', and came out with a distinct impression that the Indo-US nuclear deal would not revolutionize the energy sector, and could be a high cost to pay for the proliferation regime. Though the speaker Parmit Pal Chaudhuri,
This sector is the most important sector contributing to more than half of
Next in line is Oil.
A silver lining to this sorry state of affairs is the gas sector. It has the highest potential to change the energy profile of
The growth in the nuclear sector is subject to increased fuel and capital inflow. The Indo-US nuclear deal would be instrumental in lifting restrictions on the fuel aspect. While the amendments to the Atomic Energy Act would allow private firms to enter the nuclear power industry and reducing the capital problem. However, Chaudhuri does not think that it would be a prominent contributor to the energy requirements in the near future. Through my readings so far I had gathered that the Indo-US nuclear deal, if successful, would considerably help the generation of electricity. Though I was not expecting any dramatic changes or a sudden reduction in dependence on oil, the strategic benefits of the treaty gave it a different appeal. The proliferation concerns seemed to take a backseat. However, listening once again to how the nuclear energy sector would not transform the energy sector brought me back to the reality of the proliferation risks it would pose. But that is a matter for another post.
Coming back to the talk, Chaudhuri emphasized the success of the wind power sector as a promising sign for renewable energy. Wind power is one of the largest renewable energy sectors in
He was also very critical of the electricity distribution system and said that on an average an Indian company has to pay almost 80% more than what any company in
On the Carbon emission debate Chaudhuri was of the view that so long as carbon emissions and economic development are a zero sum game, developing countries cannot be expected to agree to reduce carbon emissions. It is also a politically infeasible option for them. In
Overall the energy story came out looking rather dismal, and in urgent need of path breaking reforms to sustain