Kalam backs solar power, lauds Gujarat efforts

His advice for Pune; strike a balance with environment, promote cycling, walking to save environment

Days after more than half of the nation faced a power blackout, former President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam on Thursday stressed tapping alternative sources to meet the power demand.

Reiterating what he said years ago, Kalam said 5,800 MW could be generated if 900 power plants that run on municpal waste are set up in different parts of the country. He also stressed tapping solar power and praised Gujarat's efforts in the field.

Addressing a function organised by the Pune International Centre (PIC) at YASHADA on Thursday, he said a balance should be struck with the environment. Citing Pune as an example, he said "the city can be divided into organised micro cities, larger and medium scale transport system can be created with dedicated lanes to promote cycling and walking, and ecological zones can be set up with thrust on gardens and biodiversity," Kalam said.

Speaking on 'Energy and Environment Dilemma: Its Impact on National Security', Kalam lauded the efforts of Gujarat in generating 680 MW of solar power through public-private partnership, which he said can be replicated in other states.

He said that by 2030, the total energy requirement of the country would be 4,00,000 MW from 1,85,000 MW now. "Ideally, 2,15,00 MW can be generated from renewable energy resources. By 2030, the country can develop a capacity to generate additional 50,000 MW of hydel power by creating regional waterways, 60,000 MW solar energy can be generated from large-scale solar power plants, 50,000 MW from nuclear power, particularly using thorium and 65,000 MW using wind energy. By working on these targets, we will be able to generate nearly 2,25,000 MW," Kalam said.

In his address, Dr Arvind Gupta, Director General of Institute of Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA) said the failure of grids that caused blackout in 22 states reflected inadequate power infrastructure in the country, indiscipline in energy withdrawal and recovery efforts.

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