New Delhi: India has sought Israel's expertise in renewable energy sector to meet its ambitious target of 30,000 megawatts of power in the next five years.
"India is a very vast country and like all vast countries has very vast problems. Energy is one of the most crucial issues which we feel can do wonders to our growth. When you look at the fact that 40 per cent of the population in India doesn't have access to energy, we think it is a situation we need to immediately correct," said Gireesh Pradhan, the Secretary of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.

Quoting from one of the recent statements made by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in setting up the goal of providing access to energy to all at the earliest, Pradhan said, "I look up at renewable energy as of great importance".

"We feel that the rapid spread and promotion of renewable energy would address to some extent the issue of access. The Government of India has identified generation of power through renewable energy at the forefront of its planning strategy," Pradhan, who is on a two-day visit to Israel, told an impressive gathering of business leaders at the Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce.
He also noted the fact that India is the only country in the world that has a full-fledged ministry devoted to renewable energy headed by a cabinet minister while most of the countries only have a department for renewable embedded in their conventional power sector.

Sharing some of the broad contours of the energy scenario in India, Pradhan highlighted the fact that almost 12 per cent of the energy generated in India comes from renewable sources comprising small hydro, bio-mass, wind and a little bit of solar.

If the share of electricity produced from large Hydro is included in this then the total share of renewable in the overall energy mix will come to about 31 percent, he stressed.
Calling upon Israeli business leaders to join hands in the growth of renewable energy sector in India, the senior official said India has set up an ambitious plan to generate another 30,000 MWs of grid connected projects by 2017, which will "take us to a total of 55,000 MWs from renewable sources of energy".
"This would require a lot of partnering and assistance and help from the private sector. The important difference in India in terms of conventional power and renewable power is that on the conventional side the lead player is the government or the public sector whereas on the renewable side it is completely private sector.
We owe the 25,000 we have completely to the private sector and we intend to push this further in the next five years to promote investments from the private sector," Pradhan stressed.


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