August 21, 2017

Speaking at the 8th World Renewable Energy Technology Congress, New Delhi

…. And I think the impact of climate change was not being recognized seriously enough across the world. And, probably, what we saw in the last 15 or 20 years, in terms of the rapid decline of the atmosphere’s quality, the quality of the environment is today probably one of the largest concerns before the humanity. Terrorism and climate change, we all recognize, to be the two areas which we will all have to address on mission mode. In the last two or three days, all that we have been reading is about terrorist attacks, probably, across Europe.

We in India have been suffering from this problem for several years. While at some point of time, the world did not recognize India’s problem as seriously as it now does, considering their own tryst with terrorism. Similarly, climate change for many countries remained something in the distant future and they never recognized it as such, as an important element of the very existence of mankind for many-many years.

Of course, I won’t even go into what’s happening in some developed countries right now. I can only hope that it’s a transient phase. But, clearly, the world as a whole post the Paris Agreement, the negotiations at COP21, has clearly recognized that climate change is a serious issue, it is a challenge we have to address. And, I am glad that the entire world is now woken up to this new reality working together through a shared effort for the shared prosperity of mankind.

We have had a number of global engagements. We have had the International Solar Alliance which has been launched, before the end of this calendar we shall see that as a multilateral agency, multi-national agency, ratified by the first 15 countries who would then be Founder Members. We have seen mission innovation taking some shape and, going forward, I do hope to see more action on mission innovation.

We have had a number of global engagements on the geo-thermal world, on the rapid expansion of decarbonisation in the energy space. We have a number of initiatives on the African renewable energy initiative. We have looked at the G20 Energy Ministers getting together to see what can be done to look at a better future for the world. All of these engagements I think are focusing, energy is focus in different efforts towards a common shared goal to decarbonise the energy space, to look at more and more decentralization in the energy space and looking at more and more digitalization of the energy space.

I think these 3 ‘Ds’ will define the energy sector in the future. And unless we decentralize, decarbonise, going for more and more digital technologies, I am very worried that we could land up decelerating the world economy. Because I doubt very much the world has much time or much space to further mess around with the atmosphere, mess around with the global planetary situation. And as we see the Earth Day each day happening somewhere in August, we can clearly see that we are running out of time when we will have to accelerate our efforts to promote clean energy, to look at ways and means to reduce the pollution,  reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

And, in that sense, your deliberations over the next three days to promote renewable energy, costs are down, costs are becoming far more reasonable. When one looks at comparable costs of other forms of energy, I think today renewable energy is becoming more and more attractive, very often even below grid parity. But, going forward, very clearly, with advancements of technology and better and better grid integration between renewable energy and base load of power coming from carbon sources, I am sure this advent of technology will make renewable energy even more attractive, particularly, for emerging and growing economies like India, which have an opportunity to do things first time right.

We are also focusing on, apart from renewable energy, on seeing how we can promote electric vehicles, so that we bring down the consumption of oil and petroleum products and promote an ecosystem where renewable energy goes in to power the electric vehicles and we can bring down the overall carbon dioxide emissions in the entire economy, in the entire ecosystem.

Sustainable renewable energy growth will particularly need global cooperation, it will need standardisation wherever that is possible, and it will need more and more innovation coming into play. I am sure different countries are working on innovation to make renewable energy even more robust, get better plant load factors on solar and better outputs from wind energy, looking at how waste can be converted to energy in a more economical manner. And this continuous effort will help us certainly in the future make renewable energy the way to go. TERI has been playing a very very important role in India’s own efforts to promote renewable energy. And I have no doubt in my mind, this thrust on renewable energy, which the government of India is giving, which organisations like TERI are supporting, several other NGOs in this space are working towards will lead to a future, which will be a future where we can leave a better planet for the next generation, a better place to live in and leave behind a better world for the children of tomorrow.

I wish this Congress well. I wish all the deliberations in this Congress will help us as policymakers come up with even better and more robust policies to continue to support and encourage the growth of renewable energy sector.

Thank you very much ladies and gentlemen.


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