PM says India most attractive market in the clean energy space
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said that India is considered the “most attractive” market in the clean energy space because of its tremendous progress and added that solar energy would play a key role in achieving the targets of Atmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India) Abhiyan.
He made this comment while dedicating to the nation Asia’s biggest solar power plant, which has a capacity of 750 megawatts (MW), in Rewa, Madhya Pradesh (MP), via a video-conference link amid the raging coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak in the country.
Terming the solar energy as pure, sure and secure, he said, “It was sure because other sources of energy might be depleted but not of Sun. It will always continue to shine in the world. It’s pure because it helps the environment instead of polluting it and secure because it is a symbol of self-reliance.”
The PM said, when policymakers in the world were at the horns of a dilemma whether to focus on the economy or environment and took decisions, either way, India had shown the way that there was no contradiction but both complemented each other.
“Whether it’s the Swachh Bharat Mission campaign or campaign to provide LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) and PNG (piped natural gas) to every family or building the network of CNG-(compressed natural gas) based transport system across the country or efforts for electricity-based transport in the country several such measures are being undertaken for making the life of people better in an environment-friendly manner,” the PM said.
This is the reason, he said, “In all the government programmes environment protection and ease of living are being given preference. For us, the protection of the environment is not confined to a few projects but it’s a way of life. When we are launching big projects of renewable energy we are trying to ensure that our resolve towards clean energy is reflected in every aspect of our life and also our efforts are to see that its benefit goes to every citizen, every class, and every part of the country.”
For instance, he said, “In the past six years, 36 crore LED (light emitting diode) bulbs had been distributed across the country and more than 1 crore LED bulbs had been fitted in street lights.”
The PM said there was a time, when the price of the LED bulb was beyond the reach of the common man. In the past six years, the price of a LED bulb had reduced 10 times and people were now using 9-10 watt bulbs instead of 100-200 watt bulbs, he said.
As a result, he said the consumption of power has been reduced by six billion units and on this count, people save Rs 24,000 crore every year in India. Besides, it prevented 40 million tonnes of carbon dioxide from entering the environment and thus pollution level came down, he said.
Modi said given the government’s policy and strategy on solar power the price of solar energy what used to be Rs 7-8 per unit in 2014 had come down to Rs 2-2.50 per unit now and it benefitted industries, in employment generation and people.
The PM said, “There is a discussion going on in the entire world as to how solar energy is so low-priced in India. When there is a discussion on renewable energy in the world India is being seen as a model.”
He said solar power couldn’t be utilised to its fullest potential until the country had better solar panels, battery, and storage capacity of better quality.
“Work is going on in this direction. The country’s aim under Atmnirbhar Bharat Abhiyan is to do away with our dependence on imports for various hardware including solar panels. Necessary steps are being taken to enhance the manufacturing of solar PV (photovoltaic) modules,” he added.
Making an appeal to entrepreneurs, youth, and start-ups to take advantage of the country’s potential in the field of solar energy, he said, “It has been made mandatory to use solar photovoltaic cells and modules made in India in pumps under Kusum (Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan) scheme and rooftop panels on houses. This has been decided that the government departments and other government institutions will only buy made-in-India solar cell or module. At the same time, the government is encouraging the companies that are setting up power plants to manufacture solar PV modules.”
Earlier, MP chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said the solar project cost was about Rs 4,000 crore.
The foundation stone of the project was laid on December 22, 2017.
The CM said, “The power produced from the project is Rs 2.97 per unit, which is the lowest in the country. From the environmental point of view, the emission of 15.7 lakh tonnes of carbon dioxide is being prevented from entering the environment, which is equivalent to planting 2.60 crore trees. Around 24% of the power produced from the project is earmarked for Delhi Metro Rail Corporation.”