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Nuclear energy required to meet power demand

New Delhi: Energy sources like nuclear, thermal and fuel power projects are the only way to meet India`s commercial energy needs, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh said here on Saturday.

It will be a "romantic illusion" that India, with 1.2 billion people can meet energy requirements through biogas, Ramesh said in an indirect reply to United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director Achim Steiner. Earlier, Steiner claimed that renewable energy is "cheaper" than nuclear energy "in the long run."

Both Ramesh and Steiner were addressing a curtain raiser press conference on World Environment Day to be celebrated on June 5.

India is the global host for this year`s World Environment Day celebrations. The theme of this year`s 2011 programme is `Forests: Nature at Your Service`. According to Steiner, an expert in environmental politics, 17 per cent of Germany`s energy supply comes from renewable sources and it is cheaper than fossil fuels and nuclear energies.

Facing flak from environmentalists for giving clearance for Jaitapur nuclear power project, Ramesh strongly justified the need to have nuclear energy referring to Germany`s neighbouring country France which has tapped nuclear energy sources. Germany had temporarily shut down seven of its nuclear reactors as part of reconsidering its nuclear strategy.

"Germany decides that it will not having nuclearpower. Neighbouring country (France) gets 70 per cent of its electricity from nuclear power. That is the decision by the French," Ramesh remarked.

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