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What If India Follows The BRICS Path To Energy Consumption

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Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said recently at the meeting of the council of ministers that “the growing gap between demand and supply of energy has emerged as a major constraint on our development.” And it is also a big factor in widening the trade & fiscal deficit, Mr Singh said.


IndiaSpend’s Sourjya Bhowmick surveyed India’s energy landscape and compared it with the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) countries to find that India is way behind China and Russia in total energy production.



And yet, India has consumed more energy than it produced since 2000. IndiaSpend looks at how India stacks up against the other BRIC economies in trying to picture the road ahead, in terms of future energy requirements and the effect that might have, whether fiscally or for that matter, environmentally.



Here are more detailed energy production and consumption figures.

Table 1: Energy Indicators



Brazil, India and China have more energy consumption than production. Incidentally, Russia is the only country in BRICS that has less consumption than production.  Even the per capita consumption of energy in Russia is very low compared to the other three nations.


Compared to Brazil and China, India does not have high per capita consumption but the total consumption is higher than the energy produced. This imbalance of energy produced and consumed has been the case in India since 2000.


Unfortunately, no data is available for South Africa and the country has been omitted from the table.


Let us now look at the agricultural landscape in these countries:


Table 2: The Agriculture Story



While many figures are unavailable, we can see that the area of cultivated land has mostly remained the same for these countries between 2006 and 2010. Compared to the total area of cultivated land, production of cereals in Brazil and Russia is not that large.


China has more cereal production (around 500 million tonne) than India (around 225 million tonne) but with less area of cultivated land. IndiaSpend had earlier reported about how China leads India in agricultural productivity and the reasons for its achievements.


Let us now look at the output of important industrial products of these countries:


Table 3: The Industrial Scenario




India is just behind China but well ahead of Brazil and Russia in the production of coal, natural gas and cement.   However, India is far behind all other BRICS countries when it comes to the production of petroleum and iron ore.


As per media reports, the annual growth in eight core industries ( coal, crude oil, natural gas, refinery products , fertilizers, steel, cement and electricity) in India has more than doubled to 5.1% (highest in seven months) in September on account of the increased production in coal, cement and petroleum sectors.


Compared to other BRICS countries, India needs to increase production in the energy, petroleum and iron ore sectors. India is significantly behind China and Russia in these sectors.

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