Dr. Farooq Abdullah, Union Minister for New and Renewable Energy, flew from Jammu and Kashmir to Tamil Nadu to attend Amrita’s Renewable Energy International Conference at the Coimbatore Campus.
Padma Vibhushan Dr. R.K. Pachauri, Chancellor of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), also came from New Delhi to attend. Given below are some remarks made by these distinguished guests at the inaugural session of the conference.
Dr. Farooq Abdullah: India has made a good start in wind energy, and is today ranked number five in the world, producing 17000 megawatts of power by wind. Another 3000 megawatts by wind power is expected to be added every year.
India should seek collaboration with other countries for quick developments in other technologies, just as we did with Denmark for wind technologies.
When the Jawaharlal Nehru Solar Mission began two years ago, India generated only 2 megawatts of solar power. By 2013, the mission will have 13000 megawatts of solar power. States such as Rajasthan and Gujarat are making investments in photovoltaic cells and solar panels to generate thousands of megawatts of solar power. We might soon see every roof top with solar panels that generate power and feed power to the grid.
The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has prepared extensive proposals for implementation in the 12th five-year plan period for accelerating the development of renewable energy in the country. Our cumulative target is around 55 gigawatts of renewable power and also a large number of decentralized renewable energy systems.
A study reported that of the 330 gigawatts of new electricity generation capacity installed globally, between 2009 – 2010, 140 gigawatts came from renewable energy. If proper policy support is provided, renewable energy can meet up to 80% of global energy demands by 2050. The world is on the move and we must strive for a leadership role in this area.
Dr. R.K. Pachauri: There are enormous benefits from use of renewable energy. We make progress towards energy security, there are health benefits as there is less pollution, agriculture can thrive and we get the needed food security.
The fourth assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change looked at the potential for reduction of emissions from every sector of economy, and found that the building sector provides the greatest potential.
In partnership with the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, we came up with a system by which the sustainability of different buildings could be evaluated. As a result, the Ministry now provides incentives and disincentives to make a change from inefficient forms of energy consumption. Through efficiency-enhancing retrofits in existing buildings, energy use can be cut down by 15-20%. In the case of new buildings, 40-45% decrease in energy consumption can be attained.
We can use energy efficiently and save money. We need the right leadership to promote this and partnership involving government, the building industry and research institutions.
It is with the students that the future hopes of the country rests upon, the growth of our country relies on. As stated by Gandhiji, speed is irrelevant if one is going in the wrong direction.
March 14, 2012
School of Engineering, Coimbatore