The power generation shortfall in India is estimated at 11% of the total energy, and 15% of the peak capacity requirements and these figures are likely to increase. This is despite the fact that the country is already consuming more than 2 million barrels of imported oil a day - a figure that is growing by about 10 percent annually.
The Planning Commission of India estimates that the country will have to increase its capacity for power generation by about seven times its present capacity to sustain its growth. In the absence of feasible renewable energy options, this will mean more fossil-fuel based power plants. This is neither a sustainable proposition nor a climate friendly one.
The way forward is to use conventional energy efficiently while simultaneously building the country's renewable energy capabilities.
The Power Programme, therefore, prioritises key cross-cutting policy themes – investments in utility-led energy efficiency, mainstreaming renewable energy and energy access.
While India continues to add generation capacity, the gap between demand and supply remains wide. A major reason for this chasm is unchecked demand.
Poverty eradication and growth needs energy. According to official estimates, our generation capacity will have to increase by seven times the present figure to meet our growth needs.
In the last two decades, the Government of India has been making aggressive efforts to expand energy access through various national and state schemes to enhance off-grid rural electricity access.