India is moving gradually to become the renewable energy capital of the world. The RE-Invest 2015 saw some big-ticket announcements by large Indian renewable energy players and policy pronouncements from the Central government.
The RE-Invest 2015 which concluded recently is the take off point which will have a multiplier effect on the economic front, said Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. Addressing the valedictory session of the three-day event, Jaitley said that this will lead to enormous job generation, investments resulting in profitability, competitiveness between various sectors, filling up the gaps in power supply, enhancement of manufacturing sector, and yet not hurt the environment. The Finance Minister pointed out that this conference is a starting point of a great initiative whose effect will be clearly visible in the coming years.
Jaitley said India has a very large land mass and therefore raw material required for renewable energy is right in front of us. It would be sheer incompetence if we are not able to convert this into a resource, and therefore the initiative which the Prime Minister has taken in the renewable energy sector, created an economically conducive environment.
There is a huge change of mood and attitude in India, and that is reflective in the large scale enthusiasm shown in this conference. The Finance Minister said the kind of enthusiasm that the international investors are reposing in India today is a very rare occasion in history, where you can become a natural recipient of both domestic and international investments. There is a great opportunity for India to grow in terms of manufacturing and we also have to concentrate on our infrastructure, said the Minister.
Jaitley added that the starting point of all this has to be the credibility of the Indian economy, the faith of people in Indian economy, and our ability to provide opportunity to investors and it is from that point of view our own systems have to be tuned accordingly.
The Finance Minister said that the coal auctions initiated by the present government, will ultimately lead to a roadmap for cheaper electricity, and the process of reverse bidding will reach the common man in a sustainable manner.
Speaking on the occasion, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, said that RE-Invest 2015 is a significant step in making India self reliant in energy. With the ambitious target of 200 GW of solar energy, he said this is going to be a game changer for the energy scenario of the world and India would soon be the renewable energy capital of world. The Minister said if more commercial electricity is made available to villages, then migration from villages could be stopped.
The Minister of State (IC) for Environment, Forests, and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar announced that environment clearances for green energy will be given through a green channel. He also said that the government would provide predictable policy regime with standard guidelines.
The Vice Chairman of NITI Aayog, Arvind Panagariya speaking on the occasion said that there is a vast potential of wind and solar energy in the country which are complementary to each other and which need massive investments. He also said that in coming years, challenges in cost effective renewable energy appliances have also to be taken into consideration.
Outlining the future action plan in the renewable energy sector, Piyush Goyal, Minister of State (IC) for Coal, Power and New & Renewable Energy said that a long term roadmap will be drawn to achieve the targets of RE. He said there will be a monthly working session with various States so that the developers and States can work in partnership and there will be a six-monthly personal review to ensure that the policies are actually implemented on the ground. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy will work actively in identifying the infrastructure requirements and de-bottling them, so that the manufacturers in India can successfully take their plans forward, Goyal added.
Meanwhile, the star attraction for RE-Invest was Michael R Bloomberg, an entrepreneur and philanthropist. In his special address at the session, Bloomberg, UN Secretary General´s Special Envoy for Cities & Climate Change urged both India´s private sector and foreign investors to continue developing and investing in the clean energy market which creates knowledge-intensive jobs and support the nation´s goals.
All of these steps, Bloomberg said, are helping to position India as a crucial global leader in addressing climate change, as nations work toward an international climate agreement in Paris this December. No other country, in his view, faces an energy challenge or has seized the energy opportunity on nearly the same scale and scope. ´Prime Minister Modi is showing that confronting climate change goes hand-in-hand with smart economic growth,´ said Michael Bloomberg. ´And from my experience, he is absolutely correct to make cities a central focus of his work. The more India invests in sustainable cities, the stronger its economy will grow,´ said Bloomberg.
On the occasion, 14 banks and financial institutions, 8 PSUs and private manufacturers, 15 private sector companies gave their Green Energy Commitments. As much as 266,000 MW green energy commitments were received during the conference. A total of 2,800 delegates from 42 countries participated in the three-day conference. 202 speakers addressed various sessions, out of which the 40 international speakers were from 29 countries. Goyal also complemented the 118 exhibitors who showcased India´s strength and potential. Around 200 global investors providing financing and investment solutions also participated. Nine States showcased their policy initiatives in the renewable energy sector.
Upendra Tripathy, Secretary, Ministry of New & Renewable Energy informed the meeting that 14 companies from seven countries have submitted their green energy commitments for 58 GW. Similarly, 22 PSUs for 18 GW, 257 private limited companies for 190 GW and the Railways for 5,000 MW have submitted their commitments for renewable energy. In addition, 27 banks have also submitted their commitments for financing 72 GW renewable energy projects.
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