LONDON: Nuclear energy should be considered a clean energy source, Mr Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Deputy Chairman Planning Commission, said that at the end of the 23-Government Clean Energy Ministerial meeting that took place in London this week.
Mr Ahluwalia, who represented India at the third CEM conference, said that nuclear energy was “one part of a move towards a low carbon energy” future.
India is set to host the fourth CEM meeting in next April. The London meeting brought together representative of governments from across the world, including China, Brazil, Australia and the US, and is meant to be an annual forum for some of the world’s biggest emitters of greenhouse gases to work together on policies to increase their use of renewable energy.
Among the initiatives launched were a joint project by Italy and the US to provide off grid lighting to two million homes in India, as part of a global energy access partnership.
Speaking at a press conference, alongside the US Energy Secretary, Mr Steven Chu; the British Minister of Energy, Mr Edward Davy; and Mr Kandeh Yumkella, Director of the UN Industrial Development Organisation, Mr Ahluwalia warned that if the world continued to develop renewable energy at the rate it currently was, “we are not going to achieve what we need to achieve”.
He said that it was quite clear that India wanted to make “major improvements in energy efficiency and use and the cleanliness of the energy mix.” “The solution to climate change has to be a combination of improvement of energy use and improvements in emissions.” However, at the moment the switch to renewable energy was “not something that can be done without bearing the costs…the good news is that the additional cost is falling.”
Asked about to what extent India’s energy future would incorporate new, and controversial, technologies such as fracking, and how this would affect the future of renewables development, Mr Ahluwalia said that India didn’t currently have a programme for going into fracking “in a big way”. “We are watching experiences elsewhere.”