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Green energy not viable on its own without subsidy: PM

Expresses dismay at slow progress in climate talks, calls upon industralised countries to bear a large share of the burden

Jyoti Mukul  |  New Delhi 

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said market forces alone will not provide sufficient financing for green energy unless the risks of policy change are appropriately addressed.

"For the moment green energy is not viable on its own without subsidy or regulatory incentives. Investors obviously need assurance that these incentives will continue," Singh said at the first day of the fourth Clean Energy Ministerial that began here today.

In his address, Singh expressed dismay with UNFCCC's slow progress in reaching the goal of stabilising global temperatures at acceptable levels. He called upon industralised countries to bear a large share of the burden of carbon emission targets on the principle of equity.

"An acceptable global strategy must also be based on equitable sharing of the burden of mitigation and adjustment."

Singh expressed India’s commitment to evolve low carbon strategy for inclusive and sustainable growth during the 12th Five Year Plan. He said that the country will double its renewable energy capacity from 25,000 MW in 2012 to 55,000 MW by the year 2017.

“We have set ourselves a national target of increasing the efficiency of energy use to bring about a 20 to 25% reduction in the energy intensity of our GDP by 2020. The Plan also envisages an expanded role for clean energy, including traditional sources of clean energy such as hydel power and non conventional sources such as solar and wind power.”

He also mentioned about the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission, which has the objective of developing 22,000 MW of solar capacity by the year 2022, covering both solar photovoltaic and solar thermal.

“A solar capacity of about 1,500 MW has already been installed in the country, and an additional 10,000 MW will be implemented by the end of the 12th Five Year Plan, ending in 2017.”

Seeking more intervention from industrialized countries in this regard, the Prime Minister said, “We must contain the total growth in energy associated with the growth of GDP by improving energy efficiency. We can work to shift from conventional to non-conventional or clean energy. Both actions help to mitigate emissions and both involve costs. But, the costs are borne by the country taking the actions whereas the benefits extend to the whole world. An acceptable global energy strategy must also be based on equitable sharing of the burden of mitigation and adjustment. On any principle of equity, the industrialized countries have to bear a large share of the burden.”

Stating that high per capita incomes which give the industrialised nations the highest capacity to bear the burden, he added, “They are historically responsible for the bulk of the accumulated GHG emissions and this alone suggests a greater responsibility.”

CEM is an initiative of the US government. It runs parallel to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. US has refused to join UNFCC which imposes carbon cuts on its members.

First Published: Wed, April 17 2013. 10:04 IST