India needs to rapidly increase energy consumption to achieve the ambitious target of 9% economic growth in the 12th Five-Year Plan (2012-17), Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Wednesday.
"We have set for ourselves an ambitious target of 9% 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," he said at the National Energy Conservation Day celebrations in New Delhi.
The government has targeted 9% annual expansion in the country's GDP over the next five years, even though the country's economy is passing through a difficult phase.
The Centre recently reduced the GDP growth forecast for the ongoing 2011-12 financial year to 7.5% (plus/minus 0.25% ), as against the earlier projection of around 9%.
Singh said since the country relies on imports for a large component of its energy requirement, it is vital to "re-double" efforts to enhance energy efficiency as a step toward reducing the energy intensity of the national GDP.
"Since we are largely dependent on fossil fuel, any improvement in energy efficiency of our thermal power generation plan would help reduce the energy intensity of our GDP," the Prime Minister said.