In a series of discussions kicked off to mark this year's World Environment Day, experts also said energy efficiency was also key in ensuring electricity for each of India's 1.2 billion citizens, since nearly 300 million were still being denied this amenity.
"Access to electricity is critical for India. Off-grid solutions can go a long way in bridging the electricity gap," said Krishan Dhawan, chief executive officer of Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation that has partnered the NDTV-Grundfos energy campaign.
"We need to change the way we approach technology. Automotive, buildings and appliances must be designed to be energy efficient," he told a panel discussion with Ajay Mathur of the Bureau of Energy Efficiency, Naina Lal Kidwai of HSBC, and Mili Majumdar of TERI.
This was the first of the several sessions to mark the World Environment Day and will be re-telecast on NDTV platforms on June 7 and 14. The main focus of this session was the growing requirement for energy efficiency and conservation in India.
The panel that also included Beroz Gazdar of Mahindra and Mahindra, Chandra Bhushan of the Centre for Science and Environment, Saurabh Kumar of Energy Efficiency Services, and N.K. Ranganath of Grundfos Pumps India also dwelt on related policy recommendations.
Dhawan said it was necessary to change the behaviour of various stakeholders - such as homeowners, industry and consumers at all levels -- so they opt to purchase and also use energy-efficient products.
"The example of a good solution - the Green Power Market Development Group (GPDMG) in Karnataka - was set up to build critical support for renewable energy markets," he said and added, it connects potential renewable energy purchasers with suppliers.
Along with other co-panelists, he also laid emphasis on efficiency in the transport sector and said in addition to technology-based solutions, it was necessary that mass transport systems and walking paths be accounted for in the planning process of a city.
"The new government envisages 100 or so new cities to come up in India. The co-benefits of such an approach are reductions in a whole range of issues -- the user costs, road congestion, air pollution. It also improves public health and quality of life."
The organisers said the discussions will be relayed again on the NDTV network to create awareness about viable solutions for conservation and efficiency that can be adopted by individuals as also groups to inspire millions to work towards a clean, green future.