|16 January, 2017

India launches projects worth $1 trillion to transform energy sector

New projects will help meet India’s energy demand growth of 6 to 7 per cent per annum

Image used for illustrative purpose. Sun sets behind electric pylons in Allahabad, India.

Image used for illustrative purpose. Sun sets behind electric pylons in Allahabad, India.

REUTERS/Jitendra Prakash

Monday, Jan 16, 2017

Abu Dhabi

India’s ambitious plan worth $1trillion (Dh3.67 trillion) to partially transform its energy sector into clean energy and enhance energy efficiency will help millions of villagers and help households save billions of dollars in electricity bills, a senior official told Gulf News on Monday.

“India has $1 trillion investment opportunity in energy sector, which will see 40 per cent of renewables in energy mix by 2030 as part of India’s commitment to Paris agreement [the global deal to keep a temperature rise below two degree Celsius in this century]. We expect investment and technology from the UAE for this transformation,” said Piyush Goyal, Indian Minister of State with Independent Charge for Power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy, in an interview at the World Future Energy Summit.

India plans to increase its 44 gigawatt (GW) installed capacity in renewables [of total 310 GW capacity] into 175 GW by 2022, he said. This will need $250 billion dollar investments in renewables by 2022.

“It may be also possible to add additional 75 GW hydropower also by 2022,” he added.

The new projects will help meet India’s energy demand growth of 6 to 7 per cent per annum.

Solar energy will play a major role in India’s transformation to clean energy and the government has initiated several projects in the sector, especially to improve the lives of common people.

A $10.4 million project to distribute “solar energy kits’ worth $650 to around 16,000 families in border villages of Arunachal Pradesh state in the North Eastern India will give energy access to 100,000 people. “They are in dark now. Those people in remote villages do not have access to electricity.”

The kit containing solar panel with batteries, bulbs, fan, and a small television will help education of children in those families, he said. The distribution of the kits will be started soon.

The efforts to enhance energy efficiency will minimise energy demand and carbon emissions. An on-going project to install 770 million LED lamps across the country to replace traditional electric lamps and CFLs, including 20 million street lamps, by 2019 will save 80 million tonnes of carbon emissions per annum. As of Monday, more than 198 million bulbs have been distributed across India. The number is updated in real time on http://www.ujala.gov.in/

1.6 million street lamps have already been replaced by LEDs.

The LED lamps will help households to save $6.5 billion per annum in their electricity bills. Practically neither the government nor people make any extra investments on LEDs. Their savings on electricity bills are paid back to the utilities in three to four months by EMIs (equal monthly instalments).

The government tries to promote all these projects of renewable energy without offering subsidies as much as possible. Subsidies are not sustainable in the long-run, the minister said. Commercial viability is given priority while implementing all renewable energy projects.

He appreciated Abu Dhabi’s initiative to organise annual Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week. The region’s oil rich countries’ transformation to clean energy is interesting and noteworthy, Goyal said.

He said India is eagerly looking forward to the visit of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, to India as the Chief Guest on Republic Day on January 26. The strengthened relations will pave way for more cooperation in many sectors, including energy, the minister said.

By Binsal Abdul Kader Senior Reporter By Name Name Designation

Gulf News 2017. All rights reserved.

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