Calling for innovation and research to make solar and wind power affordable, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday that time has come for renewable energy in India.
“From `18-20 a unit few year back, solar power is already competing with conventional coal power and currently costs less than `7 a unit... I am sure that with innovation, we can bring the cost down further,” Modi said.
He said India is working on building a consortium of 50 countries with abundant sunshine, to pool research and technological advancements to improve accessibility to the poor and in remote areas.
Talking about the “seven horses of energy”, Modi said the country has so far focused on thermal, gas, hydro and nuclear power and should now shift to solar, wind and biogas.
The PM proposed setting up of solar and wind hybrid farms to reduce transmission costs, which would make the power they generate even cheaper.
The Prime Minister also called for developing domestic manufacturing of renewable energy equipment to create jobs.
Besides rooftop projects, Modi said installing solar panels on canals and rivers can optimise land utilisation, and also minimise water lost due to evaporation in canals. It was used in Gujarat when Modi was chief minister there.
Modi said India has graduated from megawatts to gigawatts in terms of renewable energy production. “The fruits of development will not reach the common man until energy reaches last household of the country,” he said. “In this age of globalisation, we have no option but to make a quantum leap in energy production and connectivity.”