ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Whither Nuclear Power?

India is targeting an ambitious GDP growth rate of 8 per cent and for that the power sector needs to grow in tandem. At this rate, Indiaâ??s present installed generation capacity of 123 GW would need to increase by 90-120 GW in the coming decade. This paper makes an assessment of the potential for capacity addition from various energy sources such as coal, natural gas, hydro, wind and biomass and concludes that these sources will be found wanting in closing the gap between desired growth and business as usual growth. In this background, the recent India-US declaration on cooperation in nuclear power provides an opportunity for accelerated growth. India stands to benefit from imported nuclear fuels and reactors to augment its indigenous capabilities. We critically examine the oft-stated criticisms regarding the economics of nuclear power and its role in CO2 mitigation, and find these to be issues worthy of further analysis but not â??deal-breakersâ?. The recent US-India declaration should be viewed not with suspicion or alarm but rather as an opportunity for India to increase its power generation from nuclear sources and also as recognition for its outstanding nuclear non-proliferation practices. This agreement will also provide the much-needed breathing space the Indian atomic energy establishment needs for enabling the plutonium fast breeder and thorium reactors to come on stream.

Revisiting Natural Gas Imports for India

In January 2005, India signed a long-term deal for 7.5 MMT/annum LNG from Iran based on an indexed price, which is considered expensive at today?s oil prices, especially compared to Qatari gas. The Qatari price is lower than many contracts and this may not even be the lowest feasible price. The overarching issue for pipeline gas is one of contracting: for the delivered price, what separate metrics should one evolve for supplier nation costs, transport and transit? This relates to how the contract is set up, as a tripartite agreement between Iran, India and Pakistan, or a pair of bilateral agreements with Iran and with Pakistan.

Natural Gas Imports by South Asia

There must be few other situations where there are eager purchasers of natural gas (India and Pakistan), willing suppliers of natural gas (Turkmenistan, Iran, Qatar and Oman), and yet, no pipeline. The distances involved are modest, and techno-economic viability appears straightforward. This paper examines in detail the policy, technology, and economics of an overland pipeline supplying natural gas to Pakistan and India. Such a pipeline would be shared by both countries, and would represent a unique opportunity for co-operation. As pipelines exhibit significant economies of scale, shared pipeline would offer the lowest price natural gas for both countries. Pakistani consumers would obtain cheaper gas than from a lower capacity pipeline for their exclusive use, also benefiting from transit fees paid by Indian consumers. An alternative to landbased pipelines through Pakistan for India would be liquefied natural gas, which is more expensive due to the capital-intensive nature of the liquefaction process. However, any overland gas pipeline does not depend solely on economic viability, but on political acceptance as well. This study addresses some of the potential concerns, briefly discussing options for overcoming security of supply worries. Through cooperating on such a venture, one that offers the promise of significantly helping to build the infrastructure of both countries, there is the possibility of the neighbouring countries becoming partners in progress, instead of languishing as prisoners of geography.
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