As part of efforts to combat climate change, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday advocated creation of Solar Valleys on the lines of Silicon Valleys and asked industrial houses to view the Solar Mission as a huge business opportunity.
Launching the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission "Solar India", he said its success has the potential of transforming India's energy prospects, while contributing to national as well as global efforts to combat climate change.
The role of industry in this Mission that set an ambitious target to generate 20,000 MW of solar generating capacity by the end of 13th Five Year Plan, would be critical.
"Eventually, if the ambitious roll out of the Mission is to become a reality, we will have to create many Solar Valleys on the lines of the Silicon Valleys that are spurring our IT industry across the four corners of the country," Singh told the gathering which included Union Ministers Sharad Pawar, Farooq Abdullah and Jairam Ramesh.
Noting that these valleys would become hubs for solar science, engineering and research, fabrication and manufacturing, the Prime Minister urged the Indian industry to see the Solar Mission as the "huge business opportunity that it is".
Referring to Jawarharlal Nehru's vision to create world-class scientific and technological capabilities in the atomic energy and space sectors, he said it was these strengths that created the Information Technology revolution in the country and made it a global player.
"I am convinced that solar energy can be the next scientific and industrial frontier in India after Atomic Energy, Space and IT", he said.