Sustainable growth is only possible with sustainable energy resources: PM Modi

Strong points
  • The Prime Minister was talking about a post-budget webinar on “Energy for Sustainable Growth”
  • By 2030, we’re aiming for 500 gigawatts of non-fossil energy capacity: PM Modi
  • Energy savings and production are equally important for sustainability: PM

New Delhi: India can become a global hub for green hydrogen as ample availability of renewable energy gives the country an inherent advantage, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Friday (March 4). The Prime Minister also said that the country’s clear vision is that sustainable growth is only possible with sustainable energy resources. Addressing a post-budget webinar on “Energy for Sustainable Growth”, Prime Minister Modi said: “The wide availability of renewable energy gives India an inherent advantage, it can be a plate world turnaround for green hydrogen”. Noting that the hydrogen ecosystem is interconnected with fertilizers, refineries and the transport sector, he called for innovation by the private sector in the field.

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The hydrogen ecosystem is interconnected with fertilizers, refineries and the transport sector. This is an area where the private sector needs to innovate to fully utilize India’s potential. I promise the private sector that the government is with you in your efforts, he said.

Arguing that sustainable growth is only possible with sustainable energy, he said,

Energy and sustainable growth draws on the country’s traditional practices and provides a pathway for our future needs and aspirations.

Prime Minister Modi said he promoted sustainable living at the COP 26 summit in Glasgow last year, along with a pledge to become a net zero country by 2070.

In Glasgow we pledged to become a net zero country by 2070. I also promoted sustainable living – the LIFE Mission – Lifestyle for the Environment. By 2030, we aim to reach 500 gigawatts of non-fossil power capacity and reach 50% of our installed power capacity from non-fossil sources, he said.

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“India is playing a leadership role in global collaborations such as the International Solar Alliance. India has set goals and we see them as opportunities. Whatever goals India has set for itself, I don’t see them as a challenge but as an opportunity. India is moving with this vision over the past few years and the same has been put forward at the policy level in this year’s budget,” he said.

The budget announced Rs 19,500 crore for manufacturing high-efficiency solar modules, which will help establish India as a global hub for manufacturing and R&D of solar modules and related products.

The prime minister said there was still a lot to be done to make more energy-efficient products, including household appliances.

Energy savings and production are equally important for sustainability. We need to do much more to build more energy efficient air conditioners, heaters, geysers, furnaces and similar devices here in India, he said.

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In favor of energy-saving products, Prime Minister Modi gave the example of promoting LED bulbs and said that the government first reduced the cost of LED bulbs by promoting production, then 37 crores of LED bulbs had been distributed under the UJALA program.

The LED bulbs used to cost Rs 300-Rs 400. Our government has increased its production which has reduced the cost. We have distributed nearly 37 crore LED bulbs under UJALA, saving a lot of electricity, money for the poor and carbon emissions, Prime Minister Modi said.

He said it saved 48,000 million kilowatt hours of electricity and saved around Rs 20,000 crore on the electricity bills of poor and middle class families.

Annual carbon emissions have seen a drop of four crore tonnes. Local bodies are saving Rs 6,000 crore every year through the adoption of LED bulbs in street lamps, he added.

He said energy storage is a big challenge and the government has also given high priority to storage capacity.

In this year’s budget, we introduced a battery exchange policy and interoperability standards. This will reduce the problems encountered in the use of electric vehicles in India, he said.

On ethanol blending, Modi said it takes priority in mission mode, adding that there is a need for further upgrades in sugar mills and distilleries.

He said technology upgrading was needed in sugar mills and distilleries to produce by-products like biogas.

We have planned four pilot projects for coal gasification, and innovation is also needed in this sector. Ethanol blending was also promoted. We need to modernize our sugar mills and distilleries, he said.

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Recalling the recent inauguration of the Gobardhan factory in Indore, the Prime Minister said that the private sector can establish 500 or 1000 such factories in the country over the next two years.

The Prime Minister spoke about the future increase in energy demand in India and underlined the criticality of the transition to renewable energy. Listing a series of steps in this direction such as clean cooking in 24-25 crore Indian households, solar panels on canals, solar trees in gardens or balconies, he said the solar tree can possibly help get 15% energy for households.

We also need to advance clean cooking. Solar gas can be a huge market for our startups, he said.

He also suggested exploring micro hydel projects to improve power generation.

The world is witnessing the depletion of all types of natural resources. In such a scenario, a circular economy is the demand of the hour and we must make it a mandatory part of our lives, he said.

The webinar, the ninth in the post-budget series, also brought together ministries of external affairs, coal, power, oil and natural gas, environment, and new and renewable energy.

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(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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