Energy is an essential building
block of economic development.
In an effort to meet the demands of a developing
nation, the Indian energy sector has witnessed a rapid growth. Areas
like the resource exploration and exploitation, capacity additions,
and energy sector reforms have been revolutionized.
However, resource augmentation and growth in energy
supply have failed to meet the ever increasing demands exerted by
the multiplying population, rapid urbanization and progressing economy.
Hence, serious energy shortages continue to plague India, forcing
it to rely heavily on imports.
It has been noted by the Planning Commission 2002
that primary commercial energy demand has grown at the rate of six
per cent between 1981 and 2001.
India currently faces coal shortage of 23.96 MT
. Production of petroleum reserves has been stretched from 5.7 MT
during 1970/71 to 110 MT in 2003/04.
Natural gas demand too has been steadily growing
at the rate of about 6.5% during the last 10 years.
Comprehending that the dependence on energy is
expected to increase further to achieve the targeted Gross Domestic
Product (GDP) growth rate of 8% during the Tenth Five-year Plan,
the Government of India has granted high priority to the energy
It is estimated that the total primary energy consumption
is expected to about 412 MTOE (million tonnes oil equivalent) and
554 MTOE in the terminal years of the Tenth and Eleventh Plans,
respectively (Planning Commission 1999).
Renewable energy sources offer viable option to
address the energy security concerns of a country. Today, India
has one of the highest potentials for the effective use of renewable
energy. There is a significant potential in India for generation
of power from renewable energy sources—wind, small hydro,
biomass, and solar energy.
Other renewable energy technologies, including
solar photovoltaic, solar thermal, small hydro, and biomass power
are also spreading. Greater reliance on renewable energy sources
offers enormous economic, social, and environmental benefits.
outline of the Indian energy sector explains the demand and
supply scenario of coal, power, oil and natural gas in India. It
illustrates India’s energy current status, future concerns,
and the alternatives available to sustain the developmental process.