N-deal, alternative energy may find favour

  • HT Correspondents, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • |
  • Updated: Jun 05, 2008 01:30 IST

The unpopular but inevitable hikes in petroleum prices finally in place, the call for alternative sources of energy is also set to get louder. Votaries of Indo-US nuclear deal also will get active yet again.

The prime minister made a reference to alternative and nuclear energy in his speech. "We have to develop alternative sources of energy, whatever be the source.  We cannot remain captive to uncertain markets and unsure sources of supply.  We have to develop renewable sources of energy, including nuclear energy,” he said.

Congress sources said Left should reconsider its stiff opposition to the deal in the light of spiralling oil prices. The final word on the controversial deal has not been said yet, but chief interlocutor of the government, Pranab Mukherjee is still hopeful of operationalising the deal.

Voices within the government are critical of the prevailing negligence towards renewable sources of energy. "While we are providing thousands of crore as oil subsidy, sufficient incentives are not being given to adopt renewable sources of energy which are eco friendly," says Minister for New and Renewable Energy Vilas Muttemwar.

Muttemwar said India has not been able to take advantage of renewable energy due to high capital cost, but it could become increasingly cost-effective. Energy conservation and public transport is also in sharp focus. The prime minister called for measures in that direction and business leaders agree. "This is also a time, when we really need to take a very close look at India's energy efficiency and conservation measures," said ICICI Bank's K.V.Kamath, who also is the president of the Confederation Indian Industry. "Oil prices are expected to rule at high levels in the medium and long term...The necessity of a robust and well-organised public transport system in both urban and rural areas cannot be denied," he said.

“Energy saving mass transit systems like Metro-rail, mono-rail, high-capacity buses, and smaller public vehicles need to be urgently promoted. A system of incentives for hybrid vehicles, electric cars, traffic management, and energy efficiency can be instituted."


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