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India should scale up green technologies: UNIDO chief

Rohit Vaid | New Delhi 07 Feb 2012, Vol 3 Issue 5

India should now have an aggressive clean energy solution policy, scaling up development of green technologies for its energy security and export these to developing countries in Africa and Latin America, says United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) Director General Kandeh K. Yumkella.

"India should be aggressive on energy efficiency. If energy is used differently, if energy demand is managed properly, you don't need to build as many power plants as you need today," Yumkella, who was in India, said in an interview.

Kandeh K. Yumkella feels India has the potential to be a global leader in green energy (Photo courtesy: UNIDO)

"If you promote the three principles of access, efficiency and increase in the share of renewable energy, India can be one of the global leaders in the energy revolution going forward in the next two decades," he added.

The Indian government has started doing its bit. It is today among the top five countries in wind energy. The ministry of new and renewable energy has set an ambitious target of 20,000 MW of solar power by 2020. The government is also promoting biomass plants that can produce one to two MW of power to change the energy mix.

Yumkella, who was in New Delhi to attend the "Delhi Sustainable Development Summit", said companies and funds would be interested to invest in green infrastructure in India, if the government frames promotional policies for the sector.

"There are two sources for funds. We have almost three trillion dollars in cash in a number of companies, funds around the world, which are hesitant to invest because of the global financial crisis. I believe with well-defined policies countries like India with a huge market can attract a huge amount of that cash," Yumkella said.

Clean energy investments in India reached $10.3 billion in 2011, about 52 percent higher than the $6.8 billion invested in 2010. This was the highest growth figure of any significant economy in the world and had been put down to improving cost-competitiveness of wind and solar, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF).

Yumkella suggested that India should export its green technology solutions to developing countries in Africa and Latin America.

"India has some good programmes to use waste and biomass to generate electricity. These can be scaled up and this would become useful to the rest of the world.

"I should add that your Prime Minister in particular has been a chief driver of South- South corporation. As I speak, my agency is working with Indian firms and taking these energy solutions to Africa."

Industry experts say India with its technology base should accelerate the development of green technologies. Otherwise, it would just be a captive market for developed countries' green industry and its costly technologies.

Agrees Yumkella. "It's a win-win business model where Western companies are making money here which is helping their bottom line in their home base."

Yumkella also praised India for the role it played in the recently concluded United Nations climate change talks in Durban, South Africa.

"India has been a solid voice in all these negotiations and representing the interest and views of developing countries to grow and to create jobs. India's voice has that balanced view for sustainable energy." - IANS

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