New Delhi: External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid on Thursday said India will need to import a large percentage of its energy needs if it has to grow at 8-9 per cent.
Speaking at the Energy Security Conference in New Delhi, Khurshid said India was "importing 80 per cent of our oil and 25 per cent of our gas requirements".
"We will have to import 35-57 per cent of coal by 2030-3, 90-94 per cent of our oil and 57 per cent of natural gas if we continue to grow at 8-9 per cent... There is no option but to grow at 8-9 per cent if we have to provide for employment for the vast emerging numbers in the country comprising 65 per cent of youth," the minister said at the conference organised by his ministry and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
He said India has made progress in linking the country's electricity grid, the second largest in the world, with Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
"In addition, we plan to put in place additional gas pipeline network of 15,000 km and are in the process of increasing our LNG capacity to 45 million metric tonnes per annum from the current 13.5 mmtpa, and have put in place a roadmap for the ambitions TAPI gas pipeline to be commissioned by 2017."
Adi Godrej, CII president and Godrej Group chairman, stressed on the need for strong focus on strengthening domestic energy sources as well as acquisition of energy assets overseas.
He added that strategic alliances and joint ventures as well as establishment of a sovereign energy fund will help in successful acquisition of energy assets overseas.
Chandrajit Banerjee, director general, CII, said: "Energy security has clearly emerged as a key concern for India. To succeed in winning international energy assets, India urgently needs a value added strategic road map towards acquisition of overseas."