is a very proud and solemn moment for all of us. I am very happy to be here today
to lay the foundation stone of the Rajiv Gandhi Urja Bhavan. In doing so, I join
all of you and millions of our countrymen in honouring the memory of a great son
of India. We pay tribute to Rajivjis commitment to Indias energy security by observing
this day as Akshay Urja Divas. I am very happy that Soniaji is present on this
auspicious occasion. Her deep and abiding commitment to the ideas and ideals we
associate with Shri Rajiv Gandhi is a source of tremendous inspiration for our
Rajiv Gandhi was a visionary. He thought about the future of the nation and was
passionately committed to the development of a modern India. As a visionary, dreamer,
idealist and an energetic leader, he wanted to harness modern science and technology
for the development of our country and for the welfare of our people.
dreams in the fields of telecommunication and information technology have been
realized to a very substantial degree and we see it all expressing itself in our
everyday life. In laying the foundation stone for this building we recognize Rajivjis
deep and abiding commitment to Indias energy security. Indias sustained economic
development is vitally dependent on our energy security and on the simultaneous
promotion of sustainable and environment friendly energy technologies.
when we aim for a 10 per cent growth rate, we must recognise the critical importance
of energy security. By energy security, I refer not merely to the assurance of
the supply of energy in ample quantities. Real energy security implies assured
supply of good quality energy at affordable prices. Indias energy needs, which
will grow with the pace of economic development, cannot be met with oil and gas
the total domestic production by Indian companies is less than one-third of our
current domestic consumption of hydro-carbons. As we know, oil and gas reserves
in India are quite limited though there is always a scope to discover a new reserve
through exploration. As we grow, our growing import bill for imported crude oil
will put an unbearable and unsustainable burden on our economy. These facts compel
us to think of a new strategy to deal with the rising energy demand.
need, therefore, a new paradigm of energy security to address our development
needs. This paradigm would have to focus on several issues: a less-energy intensive
path of development, an increasing use of non-conventional and renewable energy
sources, also aimed at reducing carbon emissions, and improving efficiency in
production and consumption. Such a strategy would have to be based on coordinated
development and judicious use of domestic as well as global resources. This will
require exploring new technological options, new financing means, identifying
new sources and building new bridges with new partners including global partners.
need, therefore, to develop all our energy resources, viz, coal, gas, oil, hydro
and nuclear along with renewables, such as wind and solar power. Moreover, there
are many options of using alternative fuels and technologies. From a long-term
perspective, nuclear energy and solar energy can play an important role in addressing
our energy security needs. Our Government is committed to the development of nuclear
energy. As for solar energy, we are blessed with an abundance of this source and
it could be a major energy resource in years to come. We must, however, invest
more in Research and Development for commercial use of solar energy. We also need
to examine the potential of hydrogen as a fuel of the future. Hydroelectric resources
too should be optimally utilised to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.
non-conventional energy resources fall in the domain of high technology, and are
presently commercially not viable. The immediate need is to develop these technologies
to make such energy available to the masses in the shortest possible time.
national common minimum programme" has made a commitment to develop our renewable
energy potential. Our government has launched the Rajiv Gandhi Vidyutikaran Yojana
to provide electricity to all households by the year 2009.
am very happy to know that Rajiv Gandhi Urja Bhawan will undertake holistic research
in all forms of clean and renewable energy sources to make Rajivjis dream come
true. The technologies that will emerge from here will have to be commercially
viable. Energy is a scarce resource. We must learn to properly price this resource.
Energy supply should be economically viable and environmentally friendly. I am
happy to learn that this R&D center will focus on commercial viability of
alternative technologies and energy sources.
is extremely important that our people are made aware of the economics of energy.
In our country we have excessively interfered with proper energy pricing. Each
time our utilities have to raise rates and our oil companies have to raise prices,
extraneous considerations come in.
urge all political parties to appreciate the vital national interest of pursuing
a sound energy security strategy. India is on the move and we must be able to
address our growing energy demand. No Government can afford to shirk this responsibility
and hope to find favour with the people. That would not have been Rajivjis approach
to such matters of vital national importance.
congratulate the ministry of petroleum and natural gas, ONGC and Rajiv Gandhi
Urja Bhawan for beginning this new great venture, aimed at addressing the challenges
facing our Energy Security. I assure you of our governments full support for all
your worthy endeavours."