India's first global conference for renewable energy, the RE-Invest 2015, began on Sunday with participation of some noted names in India Inc, financiers and state representatives.
Public sector undertakings (PSUs) and the private sector made 2.9-Gw of green energy commitment.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who inaugurated the conference, declared "India has now graduated from megawatts to gigawatts in terms of renewable energy production."
He made a strong pitch to make renewable sources like solar and wind power affordable. "In this age of globalisation, we have no option but to make a quantum leap in energy production and connectivity," said Modi. "Fruits of development will not reach the common man until energy connectivity reaches every last household of the country."
The prime minister asserted that India's stress on renewable energy was not aimed at impressing the world but to meet the people's energy requirements.
He also said India was working on building a consortium of 50 countries with abundant solar radiation, to pool research and technological advancements in an attempt to ensure power reaches remote areas.
Referring to the "seven horses of energy", the prime minister said: "So far, India has focused on thermal, gas, hydro and nuclear power. But now we need to add solar energy, wind energy and biomass energy." About 60 per cent of India's electricity comes through coal.
The prime minister also gave awards to 12 states for their outstanding contribution to renewable energy. Besides, 27 public sector companies, including NTPC and State Bank of India, handed over to the Prime Minister their "Green Energy Commitment Certificates".
Coal, Power and Renewable Energy Minister Piyush Goyal said the first renewable energy global conference would usher a cleaner, brighter and energy-secure India. He has been pushing for widespread adoption of clean energy technology since taking charge.
To promote the evacuation of renewable energy, Goyal said breaching renewable purchase obligations will soon draw penalties. "New renewable energy policy will be enacted soon and would also have provision for renewable generation obligation. There is a need to socialise the cost of renewable energy (RE) through participation of all states, because currently only the states pushing for RE are bearing the burden," said Goyal.
Reposing investors' confidence again in the renewable energy sector, Goyal said this meet would certainly play an important role "as we move towards energy security". The event was chaired by Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian and was attended by SBI Chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya, HSBC India chief Naina Lal Kidwai, board member of US EXIM Bank Patricia Loui and other key Indian and global business representatives.
Source: BS Reporter