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The Second International Conference on Renewable Energy: Resources, Challenges & Opportunities was organized during March 9-10, 2012 by the Amrita School of Engineering in Coimbatore.
The First Conference was also hosted by the same campus during March 29-30, 2010.
“The conference aimed to bring together leaders in the fields of technology, policy, industry and finance to develop solutions for the tremendous challenges faced by today’s energy market,” stated Dr. Sriram Devanathan, Convenor of the Conference and Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Sciences.
“The confluence of environmental and security concerns have created an opportunity for fundamental changes in the way the world produces and consumes energy,” he added.
Organized in collaboration with EPFL (École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland), EMPA (Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research) and Colorado State University, USA, the conference was co-sponsored by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Ministry of Science and Technology, CSIR, BRNS, ISRO, DRDO, AICTE and Suzlon.
During his benedictory address, Swami Ramakrishnananda Puri pointed out that today man is exploiting nature in order to make money at any cost.
Dr. Farooq Abdullah, Union Minister for New and Renewable Energy was joined by Dr. R.K. Pachauri, Chancellor of TERI University at the inaugural ceremony of the conference.
“The world is paying the price of the damage we have done to the environment. The tsunamis, cyclones that are happening and thousands of people dying are all because we have played so long with nature,” reminded the Union Minister, in his inaugural address.
The Minister who met Chancellor Amma last year in New Delhi, outlined the challenges faced by the nation in terms of energy.
“40% of our population still does not know what an electric bulb looks like, they have no access to energy. Today India imports coal from South Africa, Indonesia and Australia and spends a substantial amount of foreign currency for this. Instead, the money could be used for education and health care.”
During his keynote address, Dr. Pachauri reflected on renewable energy developments and prospects in the country. Quoting from the World Energy Outlook, he informed the gathering that by 2030, India might well be the second-largest consumer of energy in the whole world, after China.
“Current global energy systems are dominated by fossil fuels,” he said. “The share from oil is around 34.6%, coal is 28.4% and gas is 22.1%. Although renewable energy accounts for only 12.9%, it is growing at a substantial rate. Its costs are higher, but it is becoming more competitive.”
The keynote address was followed by technical sessions which included invited talks by national and international speakers.
These technical sessions covered mass production advances for photovoltaics, dye sensitized solar cells, wind energy technologies and semiconductor manufacturing in India.
A pre-conference workshop provided an overview of various renewable and sustainable energy technologies to delegates.
“The conference sensitized the academic, research, industrial and civic communities for the need to improve the synergy between them and focus on environmentally friendly energy systems such as solar power, wind power, biomass, tidal, hydroelectric and geothermal,” summed up Dr. Sriram.
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