Defence forces should opt conventional energy sources, Pallam Raju

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New Delhi, Mar 18 (ANI): Union Minister of State for Defence MM Pallam Raju on Thursday said that with the defence forces around the world being amongst the largest consumers of energy, it is imperative for them to optimize the consumption of diesel and conventional energy sources.

Addressing a seminar on 'Renewable Energy for Defence Services,' Raju said: "I can foresee that in the future we may have a treaty thrust upon us which may restrict our consumption of fossil fuels and thus put a cap on our growth and development."

Raju is also the Chairman of the Task Force set up by the Integrated Defence Staff (IDS) headquarters to monitor the progress of the application of non-conventional and renewable energy in the military environment.

In his address, Raju stressed on the need for preserving the environment.

"Notwithstanding, the recent controversy about the timeline for the melting of glaciers, there can be no two thoughts about the need to preserve our environment," Raju said.

"Renewable Energy may not yet be (best) suited for use on (military) operational platforms or installations," he added.

Calling upon the services to take the initiative, the Chief of Integrated Defence Staff (CIDS), Air Marshal SC Mukul, said the renewable energy generation still costs three to four times that of Conventional Energy sources.

Air Marshal Mukul opined that high fuel transportation costs to high-altitude areas and the comparatively more lifecycle of solar energy, around 20 years, place non-conventional energy utilization at an advantage,

Addressing the seminar, Deputy Chief of Integrated Defence Staff, DCIDS (Operations) Air Marshal D. Kukreja said the Armed Forces have taken a major initiative towards adopting energy efficiency and conservation in operations and cantonment complexes.

Air Marshal Kukreja said the day is not far when the soldiers treading up the Siachen glacier along with his platoon would need not carry the heavy batteries; instead the Army is planning to replace dry and wet batteries with solar power packs.

The three Services have completed an energy audit of few major installations, Air Marshal Kukreja said.

"At least one building in each Command would soon meet the GRIHA standards and the ball has been set rolling by the Engineer-in-Chief's branch," he added.

The GRIHA, an acronym for the 'Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment', is an energy efficiency classification scale awarded to environment friendly buildings by The Energy Research Institute (TERI).

GRIHA is also recognized by the Union New and Renewable Energy Ministry for granting subsidies in registration and various other charges.

Union New and Renewable Energy Ministry Secretary Deepak Gupta informed the confenrence that his minisrty has taken up the initiative to set up small and micro hydel projects across Himalayas, from Ladakh to Tawang and solar and wind power plants in peninsular India.

A large share of the power generated could be committed to the Armed Forces, Gupta added.(ANI)

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