Joint Secretary (Solar), Ministry of New and Renewable Energy
How important is renewable energy and clean technologies to emerging markets, such as India?
All the emerging markets including India have huge energy shortage. We have to take into account that the use of energy per capita is still significantly growing. We haven’t enough fossil fuels to sustain our growth. So clean technologies are very important.
Is it realistic to expect solar energy to meet the growing energy needs of these countries in the next 10-15 years?
There are major opportunities in renewable energy in India. At present, the percentage of renewable energy is about 5-6 percent. In India, we have hugewind resource (potential more than one lakh mega watt), solar and hydro and waste bio mass. The role of renewable energy will increase in India and gradually renewable power will be more competitive in terms of price and volume. If the pricing of energy takes into account environmental damage, this would boost investment in and the use of renewable energy sources. Innovation and technology are rapidly reducing development costs.
What are your views on National Solar Mission?
The Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM) is creating an atmosphere for the solar energy sector in India. Phase I of the National Solar Mission has been a learning one, and now we are ready for the Phase II. So far, the Mission has been able to create an atmosphere and the focus has come to solar. National Solar Mission is Very successful so far. We are organising several training programmes to meet developmental challenges in terms of building capacity in solar energy.
What are the biggest challenges in the growth of solar energy in India?
Though, the cost of solar panels has decreased dramatically over the last years but it is still high for a country like India. So it is a challenge to convince people to install costly solar energy devices. Price of solar power is the biggest challenge.