The UPA government has set an ambitious target to light up 20 million households and to generate 80,000 MW power by the year 2022. With fossil fuels getting expensive and rapid environmental changes taking place, the government is turning its attention to green energy to save the environment.
Addressing The New Indian Express-Columbia University Conference on Clean Energy, Union Minister for New and Renewable Energy Farooq Abdullah said the country must realise the potential of the sun, wind, water and biomass to reduce dependence on fossil fuels. “We are ready to facilitate. Our doors are open. We are ready to go. If you walk two steps, we will walk 100 steps,” said Abdullah. “The day will come when there will be green energy,” he remarked, exuding optimism. Abdullah assured the panelists that the UPA was fully behind them to address the challenge of creating green energy. The only advice he gave was not to import cheap technology. He said it was better to weep once after buying expensive technology, rather than repent later for buying cheap technology, preferring not to name any country. He expressed optimism that change has taken place and things were moving, though the pace has to be quickened.
The minister expressed hope that there will now be a reverse brain-drain from the West to the East, unlike in the past when people moved to the West. The only thing required is that India has to invest in R&D and get better technology.
The media event turned out to a big success. Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Union Environment and Forests Minister Jayanti Natarajan and Haryana Industry Minister Randeep Singh Surjewala participated in the event. Express Group CMD Manoj Kumar Sonthalia gave away mementoes to the distinguished panelists.