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Lord Paul favours renewable energy

Lord Paul feels that nuclear fusion technology may provide the answer for "limitless clean energy" world over.

india Updated: Feb 18, 2006 17:27 IST

Favouring more research in renewable energy sources, London-based NRI industrialist Lord Swraj Paul said on Saturday the nuclear fusion technology being developed by a group of countries may provide the answer for "limitless clean energy" world over.

The ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor), a global nuclear fusion project, though a long-term one, provides the possibility of almost limitless clean energy in future, Lord Paul said here addressing the South Asia Energy Conservation Conclave attended among others by Jharkhand Governor S Sibte Razi and Union Minister of State for Food Processing Industries Subodh Kant Sahay.

"If the international community invests adequately and works together within the next 30 years, it may be possible to turn nuclear fusion into a commercial reality, which can meet all our needs," the Caparo Group Chairman said.

The agreement last year between European Union, the US, Japan, Korea and other partners in the ITER project to site the next demonstration phase in France was a crucial step forward, he said.

Asserting that a key to tackling growing energy demands should be to use new technologies to deliver clean energy, he said the onus is on developed countries which are investing heavily to share them with developing countries.

In Europe, including the UK, a lot of attention was being paid to renewable energy, the use of carbon-free energy such as wind, tide and sunlight, he said. But there were still lot of practical and technical barriers that prevent renewables from meeting more than a small portion of energy needs, he added.

Emphasising that a lot of work was to be done to limit the increase in energy consumption, Britain's Business Ambassador suggested that electricity prices should be fixed in such a way so as to discourage excesive energy use.

He said consumers may be given access to detailed, real-time information on energy use so that they can see the effect of turning off a light on consumption of electricity.

Lord Paul said the blame of not curtailing energy use has to be equally shared by industrialised nations as so far no developed country has managed sustained reduction in total energy consumption.

Such reductions have only been achieved temporarily in periods of recession, he said.

Lord Paul stressed the need for alternative strategies and said the UK and US were investing in high efficiency clean coal technology.

"This could mean burning waste gases to raise the overall efficiencies and capturing emissions for ultimate storage underground," he said.

It was essential that there is effective technology transfer and pooling of research so that economies of South Asia can benefit from these developments, he said.

First Published: Feb 18, 2006 17:27 IST