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India to project green energy feats

The Hindu, LIMA, 8th December, 2014

Meena Menon

Rural folk fulfil lighting, cooking needs with clean fuels
India is planning to create a buzz around its renewable energy programme during the climate talks here after the arrival of Minister of State for Environment Prakash Javadekar for the high-level segment which begins on Tuesday.

In a booklet prepared for the occasion, India has set out its achievements for the world to see. During the past three decades, a significant thrust has been given to the development, trial and induction of a variety of renewable energy technologies for use in different sectors, the government said.

India today has one of the most active renewable energy programmes in the world and these have brought about significant changes in the energy scenario. Apart from electricity generation, the application of these technologies has benefited millions of rural folk by meeting their lighting, cooking, productive energy needs in a decentralised and environmentally benign way, the booklet said.

The country’s total renewable power installed capacity as on October 31, 2014, has reached 33 gigawatt (GW). Wind energy accounts for 70 per cent of the installed capacity at 22.1 GW followed by biomass power — 4.2 per cent, small hydro power — 3.9 GW and solar power 2.8 GW.

Renewable power is generating around 65 billion units per year corresponding to about 6.5 per cent in the total electricity mix.

There are 1.1 million households using solar energy and over 10,000 remote and inaccessible hamlets have been provided with basic electricity services through distributed renewable power systems.

The 12th five-year Plan has projected 33 per cent installed capacity of power in 2030 from renewable energy sources. India has ambitious plans to scale up renewable energy. It has proposed 25 solar parks in India and 1,00,000 solar pumps for irrigation and drinking water. It has also provided for incentives in investment and a 10-year tax holiday. It is world number five in solar water heating systems, number two in biogas plants and number one in bagasse cogeneration.