Modi to push for US investment in clean energy technology


Solar PanelIn a masterstroke that will increase investment from the United States into India, enhance India’s climate change mitigation efforts, and solve the looming energy crisis, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to pitch for US technology and investments to set up 100,000 MW each of solar and wind energy generation projects in India over the next decade.

If such a programme is initiated, apart from enhancing total installed energy generation capacity in India, it is expected to create around 670,000 jobs in the country. Although India has the capacity to produce around 250,000 MW, only about 140,000 MW is actually produced due to shortage of coal and gas.

This programme is part of Modi’s ‘saffron revolution’ through which he plans to provide round-the-clock access to power to all corners of India.

According to a document made available to the Hindustan Times, India’s public sector organisations National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) and Coal India Ltd (CIL) are expected to take the lead in the implementation of this mega initiative. Given their massive cash reserves and experience of starting mega projects, NTPC and CIL will work with partners from the US to concretise this plan.

The report states, “Working group (of US and Indian stakeholders) to partner NTPC’s and CIL’s plans to roll out 100,000 MW each of solar and wind energy projects in 10 years” is expected to be announced during the Prime Minister’s upcoming visit to Washington.

Speaking to the media ahead of the Prime Minister’s much published US visit, Syed Akbaruddin, spokesperson for India’s External Affairs Ministry said that energy, trade and investment, and technology will be few of the key issues up for discussion between New Delhi and Washington.

In the non-conventional and renewable energy sector, presently, India has an installed capacity of 2,750 MW of solar power and 21,800 MW of wind power.

New Delhi has expressed it desire to see US companies, which have cutting edge technology to enhance India’s capacity to generate and store solar and wind power besides manufacturing relevant and allied components in India.

Earlier this month, India’s government announced that it would not impose additional duties on solar panels imported from China, the US and elsewhere. This has encouraged entrepreneurs engaged in generation of solar energy.