Centre launches special mission to tap renewable energy

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Agartala, Oct 4 (UNI) The New and Renewable Energy (NRE) Ministry has launched a special mission for the North-eastern region to tap eco-friendly and non-conventional energy sources to cope with the growing pollution and energy crisis.

Talking to UNI here today, NRE advisor Dr N P Singh said India had already acquired second position in the world after China in bio-gas production and was at the fourth position in wind energy development.

The NRE Ministry had identified a few states in the country, including Tripura, to be at the forefront of the nation's drive to tap solar-power and efforts were on to popularise cost-effective and eco-friendly non-conventional sources of energy.

Dr Singh was here to attend the inaugural ceremony of NE's second Renewable Energy Education Park at the Tripura University (Central) Campus.

''India produces 7,500 MW power from wind energy, which has become a major component of the rural electrification programme in southern India,'' he said adding that the country was now exporting solar photo voltage modules to Germany, as use of non-conventional energy had become a compulsion in that country.

Rural electrification was one of the main infrastructural requirements to facilitate agricultural and agro-industrial development, employment generation and overall improvement in the villagers' quality of life, he said, adding that solar and wind energy had been targeted for this purpose.

Mr Singh stated that presently about 200 wind monitoring stations, including three in Tripura, had been studying the feasibility of wind power generation programme in the country while 40 lakh biomass plants, including 1,800 in Tripura, were operating.

''We should not restrict ourselves to only conventional modes of power generation. I am confident that renewable energy sources would contribute significantly in helping us achieve our goal of electricity for all by 2012,'' Dr Singh emphasised.

He said India had vast solar energy potential at about 25 MW per square kilometre and it could be harnessed in two ways - photovoltaic and thermal - adding that presently the country had an installed capacity of 3.50 lakh Solar Home Lighting Systems.

He, however, believed that people were now aware about renewable energy sources and there was enough indication that India would make a major switch in energy use patterns during the coming years.

UNI

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