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Energy - Growth comparisons

Sep 18, 2000

With concern over the environment increasing natural gas is touted to be the fuel of the future. Besides the environmental benefit it is a cheaper fuel and results in lesser by-products.

Growth rates of the two energy sources have taken divergent paths over calender year '99. The pick up in economic activity in calender '99 should have seen growth rates of both the fuels increase. However, consumption of petroleum products increased to 9.2% from 4.2% while that of gas decreased from 8.9% to 2.2%.

If we look at the consumption pattern of gas the largest consumers are the power and fertilizer industry. Both these industries performed poorly in FY00. Fertilzer production showed negative growth in FY00. While power sector reforms have failed to take off and this has hurt additional capacity installations.

One can expect gas consumption growth rates to increase if the fertilizer industry comes out of the doldrums and issues in the power sector are ironed out. However, no such signs are visible on the horizon.

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