India needs to get on top of the energy situation if we are to seriously think of becoming the third-largest economy in the world and an engine of world economic growth. That means that we have to first of all sort out our supply chain issues with regard to coal that fires our thermal plants and secondly make a concerted move to renewable and alternative sources of energy on an ASAP basis. In this regard, the prime minister’s push to make Indian an energy independent country by 2047 has not come a moment too soon.
The current oil crisis brought upon the world by the Ukraine conflict has stressed most of the economies globally, save that of the United States which is sitting pretty because it has achieved near total self-sufficiency in its energy needs and can afford to play hardball with Russia the way that it is. With climate change issues and the Paris accord obligations making thermal energy not much of a long term solution, India needs to expedite the move to renewables. At the same time, there has to be a move away from oil to natural gas as well as a focus on using petrol that has been blended with 20% of ethanol so as to progressively reduce the reliance on imported oil. The rapid adoption of electric mobility is an integral part of the move away from fossil fuel and towards an environmentally friendly long term power generation policy and has to be given the utmost priority as well.
India has the resources and the wherewithal to pull it off given that it gets so much sun to help aid solar power generation, has a vast landmass and a very long coastline to support wind-generated power, an enviable network of rivers to tap for hydel electricity and the ability to produce power with the help of thorium-based nuclear reactors. The sooner the energy situation is dealt with the sooner will India attain its position amongst the top few nations of the world.