How to write the best answer in UPSC Mains Exam-

Energy uses its availability and affordability, will continue to be crucial ingredients of development, growth, employment and poverty alleviation.

Human poverty cohabits with energy poverty.

Nearly two decades back we had a motivational slogan ‘Power for all’. It has now graduated to

‘Power for all 24 x7’ and will soon transform to quality power and on to green power.

India’s Energy security dimensions:

  • India is home to 18% of the world’s population, but uses only 6% of the world’s primary energy.
  • India’s transport system is almost entirely dependent on fossil fuels. Essentially crude oil.
  • We import nearly 75% crude oil at present.
  • Access to electricity is 81% and clean cooking fuels 33% of the India’s households.
  • CO2 emissions as a share of global emissions are 6%
  • Share in fossil fuel consumption is 5% of the global fossil fuel consumption.
  • The main stay of India’s power generation is coal thermal. It accounts for 61.4% of the total grid connected installed capacity.

Challenges :

  • The demand for power is not growing at the expected place
  • More unsold power, or under recoveries from consumers, would but a strain on the financial institutions and stressed assets.
  • The transportation system is almost entirely dependent on Fossil Fuel.
  • The aggregate technical and commercial losses of Distribution entities in 2012 – 2013 were 22.7%
  • Indian coal is high in ash content nearly 40% but low in sulphur
  • Challenges in coal mining
    • Environment clearances
    • Land availability
    • Rail connecting to new areas
    • Coal washing


  • The rising number of motorised vehicles buts an enormous strain on oil demand and quality of air in cities.
  • The share of diesel vehicles had increased disproportionately
  • Relies on imports to meet growing demand for Gas.
  • Spread of energy poverty and inequality


  • 77 million households in India still use kerosene for lighting.
  • Absence of storage technologies the intermittent nature of renewable energy resources.

Government Initiatives

  1. UDAY scheme of Discom restructuring in 2015, which envisaged a state take over of 75 % state owned Discom Debt.
  2. FAME India Scheme : For manufacturing of electric vehicles.
  1. UJWALA: To provide clean cooking LPG fuel to rural households.
  1. The government has announced that Bharat stage VI Emission norms are to be enforced by 2020 skipping stage V.
  2. India has declared to reduce its carbon intensity in energy use by 33% in 2030 compared to 2005.
  3. India has announced a 175 GW capacity addition of new renewables till 2002.
  • 100 GW Solar
  • 60 GW wind
  • 10 GW Biomass / Cogen
  • 5 GW small hydro


  1. National Mission for enhanced energy efficiency (NMEEF)
  • PAT – Perform Achieve Trade scheme
  1. Renewable purchase obligations (RPO) being imposed by all SERC, on Discoms.
  2. UJALA (Unnat Jyoti by affordable LEDs for all programme)
  3. Deen Dayal Upadhyay Gram Jyoti Yojana village electrification programme)

Measures to be taken

  • Operationalize the commercial production of coal to liquid and coal to fertilizer, keeping in view our heavy dependence on oil imports.
  • Gas supply pipelines need to increase dramatically particularly for city gad distribution.
  • Acquire oil assets in abroad.
  • Strengthening green energy corridor projects.
  • Conventional metering should be change to smart meters.
  • A hybrid combination of solar and wind, particularly in peninsular India, could work.
  • Building industry should
  • Focus on net zero energy buildings,
  • Switches to clean and efficient technology
  • Generating energy from waste
  • Introduce innovative models to increase the share of public transport system.


The energy sector is undergoing rapid transformation while ensuring that the gains of commercial energy reach all segments of society. Its transformation and use has to become environmentally benign and commercially sustainable. The right to commercial energy has to co–exist with the right to clean air in the feature.

Source : YOJANA


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