Renewable energy sector set to get $55 bn from investors: govt

10,000 remote villages are to be electrified by 2012, announces MNRE


Neha Sethi | October 27, 2010

Booming private sector interest in the renewable energy sector may bring in investments peaking at $55 billion, the government says.

“This investment is expected to come mostly from the private sector, while the government’s role will be to create the environment,” added Debashish Majumdar, chairman and managing director, Indian renewable energy development agency (IREDA) on the sidelines of a conference in New Delhi on Tuesday.

The government is also planning to electrify 10,000 remote villages across the country using renewable energy by March 2012. “We will provide electricity to 10,000 villages at a cost of Rs 500 crore by the end of the current plan period,” the minister for new and renewable energy Farooq Abdullah announced here at the inauguration of the Delhi international renewable energy conference (DIREC).

Abdullah added that the type of power plant to be setup in a village will depend on the renewable energy source available there.

Underscoring the social and economic benefits of the scheme he pointed out that the scheme would also help generate employment in the villages as one person per village will be appointed for the mainetenance of the power plant.

The DIREC is a three-day seminar beginning Wednesday. It will be attended by 70 countries with 40 ministerial delegations. DIREC 2010 is the fourth in the series of global ministerial-level conferences on renewable energy.

Several agreements in the field of renewable energy are expected to be signed between Indian and foreign firms at the conference.

The theme for this year’s conference is ‘Upscaling and mainstreaming renewable for energy security, climate change and economic development.’

President Pratibha Patil, while inaugurating DIREC 2010 on Tuesday evening said that energy security was a key issue for a growing economy like India's. She also that  in a world where 1.4 billion people still lack access to electricity, renewable energy has an important role in universalising energy access.

"India is a tropical country, where sunshine is available for longer hours per day and in great intensity. Solar energy, therefore, has great potential as a future energy source," Patil added.



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