If economic development is to take place and quality of life is to be improved, we should have enough energy like electricity, petroleum etc.
Ever since the invention of the engine, mankind has become increasingly dependent on energy sources like coal, petroleum, and natural gas. Of late, uranium too is being increasingly used to generate nuclear power.
None of these sources of energy or fuels which are minded from the earth are renewable and may be exhausted within a few more centuries. If we are to conserve these precious energy sources and ensure that they last longer, we should increasingly use renewable sources of energy like solar power, wind power and so on.
For instance, the reserve of coal, which is one of the prime sources of energy, is estimated at 206 billion tones in our country. From the present consumption pattern it is estimated that these reserves may last for about a few hundred years. Coal is one of the main sources of electricity. The electricity that is generated at present is unable to meet the actual demand in the country. If the thermal power generation whose source is coal is hiked considerably to meet the growing power needs, the coal reserves may not last even for the estimated period.
If the energy crisis that is looming large is to be averted a few hundred years later, we should switch over to renewable energy sources like solar power, biomass power and wind power in a big way.
During the last 25 years significant effort has gone into the development, trial and induction of a variety of renewable energy technologies. Several renewable energy systems and products are now commercially available. In fact, India is now implementing one of the world’s largest programmes on renewable energy sources.
We cannot be at the mercy of the petroleum producing countries as our budget estimates are being upset with the increase in the prices of petroleum products. The earlier we switch over to solar energy, wind energy and biomass energy the better as it will save a lot of foreign exchange which can be used for better purposes. If we do not go in for renewable energy sources in a big way, we will be caught in a debt trap as we have to borrow heavily to pay for the increasing prices of the petroleum products in the international market.
In case we cut down the petroleum imports to conserve the foreign exchange and do not put the renewable energy sources in place before doing so, our country will face a major energy crisis as coal alone cannot take care of our energy needs. So, the sooner we switch over to the renewable energy sources the better.