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Science minister Harsh Vardhan highlights India’s role in clean energy transformation

India’s science and technology minister, Harsh Vardhan, is heading the Indian delegation at the 8th edition of the Clean Energy Ministerial in Beijing, China.

india Updated: Jun 09, 2017 14:37 IST
Malavika Vyawahare
Malavika Vyawahare
Clean Energy Ministerial China,Science Minister Harsh Vardhan,Clean Energy
(HT File Photo)

This week at the Clean Energy Ministerial, a series of high-level meetings being held in Beijing that brings together countries that are investing significantly in research and development for the clean energy transition, the US withdrawal from the Paris agreement loomed but delegates from other countries including India powered ahead with various initiatives towards a carbon-free energy systems.

“We are not only taking the lead, our country has contributed in terms of money as well,” Harsh Vardhan, India’s science and technology minister, who is heading the Indian delegation at the 8th edition of the conference. “In the future, we will take it to its logical successful conclusion.”

The minister was speaking on the sidelines of the second meeting of the Mission Innovation on Smart Grids on Tuesday that India leads along with China and Italy.

The initial push for the initiative came from India, which has invested heavily in transforming our national grid into a smart grid. It is one of the prerequisites for ensuring that power from renewables sources is integrated into the larger power system.

“The Mission Innovation movement, one of the leaders was our own Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” Harsh Vardhan, said. The MI initiative is a platform for countries to share knowledge, resources and encourage to develop smart grids in their countries.

This word Mission Innovation was coined by Modi at the first meeting in Paris in 2015. Initially, 20 countries signed on and now 23 countries are part of the initiative.

India has set itself an ambitious target of building solar power capacity of 175 GW of clean energy. “We hope to have 40% of energy from non-fossil sources by 2030,” the minister said, adding, “We are marching ahead in that direction.”

According to experts at the Natural Resources Defense Council, an international policy think tank, China is likely to meet its target for carbon dioxide emissions peaking many years in advance.

“It is not a competition, all of us have to participate, do it together,” Harsh Vardhan said, “we have to put our best foot forward.”

“It is our dharma,” he added emphasising that it is a spiritual thing for Indians and is ”part of our DNA,” to protect nature.

The minister also highlighted collaborations with developed countries and noted that India’s efforts in this space have been recognised the world over.

First Published: Jun 07, 2017 15:33 IST