India needs to increase energy consumption for 9% growth: PM
"We have set for ourselves an ambitious target of 9 per cent annual growth in GDP in the 12th Five Year Plan. This high rate of economic growth would require our energy consumption also to increase rapidly," Singh said.
Speaking on the National Energy Conservation Day here, he said that as India imports a large component of the commercial energy, "it is of vital importance that we redouble our efforts both to increase the domestic supply of energy and to reduce the energy intensity of our GDP".
High energy intensities indicate a high price or cost of converting energy into economic output.
The Prime Minister said that since India is largely dependent on fossil fuels, any improvement in the energy efficiency of thermal power generation plants would help reduce energy intensity of the national GDP.
"To this end, we must encourage increased use of super critical and ultra-super critical technologies for power generation," he said.
India, which is facing acute power shortage, has an installed capacity of over 1,80,000 MW.
Power Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said energy efficiency has been improving in the country over the past decade.
He noted the government would soon be launching a programme to accelerate use of electrical appliances such as fans and tube lights, which are 50 per cent more energy efficient.
"Increased use of public transport in our cities, shift in the mode of freight movement from roads to railways, use of new technologies like Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle and energy efficient use of gas plants through facilitating distributed generation should also be encouraged," Singh said.
The National Solar Mission aims to generate 20,000 MW of solar power by 2020.
"Successful implementation of the National Mission on Enhanced Energy Efficiency... would lead to annual fuel saving of about 23 million tonnes oil equivalent -- in coal, gas and petroleum products -- along with an expected avoided capacity addition of over 19,000 MW," Singh said.
The National Energy Conservation Awards were also presented during the occasion.