India’s Future Needs of Electricity

Dr SP Sukhatme Professor Emeritus, IIT Bombay will be presenting a talk -Can India’s future needs of electricity be met by renewable energy sources? This will be for about 50 min.

In this lecture, an attempt is made to answer two questions. How much electrical energy will India need in the future? Can this need for electricity be met by renewable energy sources? The first question is answered in two ways. In the first approach, the energy inputs required for various activities in the residential, commercial, transportation, manufacturing, agriculture and other sectors are considered, while in the second approach, the empirical relationship between the Human Development Index and the annual per capita consumption of electricity is used. The second question is answered by systematically considering all the renewable sources (solar power, wind power, hydro-electric power, etc) and estimating the potential of each source to supply electricity in the future. In an overall sense, the calculations show that the annual need of electricity can perhaps be met by renewable sources if India adopts a frugal policy for energy usage. However, this is not enough because the demand for electricity has to be met continuously on a daily basis. Many difficult technical challenges will have to be overcome in order to tackle this issue successfully. These challenges will be discussed.

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