Indianisation of solar energy sector is very important, says Farooq Abdullah

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Noida, Feb.10 (ANI): Union Minister for New and Renewable Energy Farooq Abdullah on Wednesday stressed on the need to Indianise the solar energy sector while saying that it is very important for the country.

Speaking during the valediction of Indo-Australian Solar Energy Workshop here, Dr. Farooq Abdullah, said: "India imports 85% of its energy needs be it oil, be it gas, be it coal and you can imagine the amount of foreign currency we have to dish out and if we can save this currency our villages would be better, our healthcare would be better, our education would be better and our irrigation facilities would be better. We would be far advanced but constraints come when we have to spend so much for the energy."

Saying how the man has destroyed the earth and its climatic conditions by his own mistakes to such a level that many of the nations will probably disappear as the water of the sea will rise, Abdullah said: "We are trying to make amends for the future generations to come and we hope to succeed by these technologies of trying to balance the environment and solar energy plays a major role in this."

This year on January 11, that Prime Minister announced National Jawahar Lal Nehru Solar Mission. We are determined that we must use the energy that is around us for the betterment of the people and in solar energy, it was decided that 20,000 megawatts should be produced by 2022. The first phase, which is the most critical, of three years we must go to 1100 Megawatts of connectivity power and 200 Megawatts which is individual power. Nearly 40% of our people have not seen the bulb, they do not know what electricity is all about, and therefore it's a big task.

Abdullah said India has done tremendously good as far as photovoltaic is concerned. "You have right here in Noida two large companies which produce solar panels but 85% of these panels are exported. We are not able to use them because they are expensive. The first and foremost important thing is to bring down the cost of these panels and then, to manufacture them in India."

"Indianisation of the solar energy sector is very important. I have made this clear to the industries in this sector that I am not against them making money but that money is not only to be used by them; part of it should be used to make this industry grow, in R andD and in Human Resource Development because then only India will advance. It is not only the question of making money; the question is that the technology must be so good that at the end of the day, the man who is using it says yes that I have got something that is really good. Otherwise, what is the use of a panel which will work for 10 days and eleventh day it will be gone; people will lose faith in this energy," said Abdullah.

"We are electrifying villages by giving them panels and they have two lights and we hope in some years we will be able to increase the size of the panel so that they can use a television set in their home; they can use a fan in their home so that more and more improvements can take place. We will give some grants to the institutes to undertake fundamental research in this area. Mutual Cooperation is very important between nations," Abdullah stated.

Mentioning about this disappointment from the recent Copenhagen summit on climate change, Abdullah said: "I am disappointed from Copenhagen Summit; it did not come up to my expectations. We need easy technology transfer between countries. We should talk less and have easy access to scientists and ideas of other countries."

Meanwhile Deputy High Commissioner of Australia Dr. Lachan Strahan, on this occasion, said: "Challenges before us, as a planet and as a race is to find a living which is in harmony with the planet. The challenges confronted by all the nations are same. It's been two months that Copenhagen Conference took place where the world community grappled with the challenge of climate change. We all acknowledge that it was a difficult conference and agreement to so many issues was not reached. We also know that technology must be a part of the solution to climate change; we must find ways of developing cleaner sources of energy. Solar energy must be a part of that solution."

"I know that there are fairly difficult challenges in converting solar energy's enormous potential into an energy source which can make contribution to our societies. What we need to do is to find ways to make solar energy more efficient and less costly," he added.

The two-day workshop was supported by Department of Science and Technology, Delhi and was attended by speakers and delegates from IIT's located in Chennai, Kanpur, Guwahati and Mumbai.

The workshop was inaugurated by Dr. Lachan Strahan- Deputy High Commissioner, Australia; Dr. Prahlada- Chief Controller, DRDO; A K Sood - Advisor, International Program , DST, Ministry of cience and Technology and Dr. Igor Skryabin- Coordinator, Australian National University. (ANI)

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