Financing key to promoting green energy, says PM

New Delhi, Apr 17 (ANI): Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh today said market forces alone will not provide sufficient financing for green energy unless the risks of policy change are appropriately addressed.

Inaugurating the Fourth Clean Energy Ministerial meeting here, Dr. Singh said: "One of the critical issues in promoting expansion of clean energy is financing of green energy. Investments in green energy are subject to technological, commercial and regulatory risk. For the moment green energy is not viable on its own without subsidy or regulatory incentives. Investors obviously need assurance that these incentives will continue."

"Market forces alone will not provide sufficient financing in this environment unless the risks of policy change are appropriately addressed. I am happy that the Ministers have scheduled a separate session on financing. We need to know more about what each of us is doing and this Ministerial is an excellent platform for experience sharing across the countries," he added.

Dr Singh also called for evolving a workable solution for promoting energy efficiency and market viability of clean energy initiatives.

"These are early days in our effort at developing a workable strategy and much remains to be done. I have no doubt that your deliberations will go a long way in developing a workable agenda for energy efficiency and expansion of clean energy for the world," he said.

He further said greater use of clean energy obviously contributes to sustainability of the development process, and this issue will become more important in the years that lie ahead. Developing countries account for 82 percent of the world's population and they use 55 percent of the available global supply of energy.

"They must aim at faster growth of their GDP to improve the living standards of their populations and this will entail an expanded demand for energy. If they follow the industrialized countries in meeting their energy requirements through fossil fuel based energy, we know that the impact on the global climate would be simply unsustainable," he added.

Asserting that this poses a global challenge, Dr. Singh said: " We can only meet the challenge by responding in two ways. First, we must contain the total growth in energy associated with the growth of GDP by improving energy efficiency. Second, we can work to shift from conventional to non-conventional or clean energy."

"Both actions help to mitigate emissions and both involve costs. But, the costs are borne by the country taking the actions whereas the benefits extend to the whole world. An optimal level of mitigation on the part of all countries can come only through globally coordinated action. An acceptable global energy strategy must also be based on equitable sharing of the burden of mitigation and adjustment," he said.

"On any principle of equity, the industrialized countries have to bear a large share of the burden. They are historically responsible for the bulk of the accumulated GHG emissions and this alone suggests a greater responsibility. They also have high per capita incomes which give them the highest capacity to bear the burden. They are technically the most advanced, and to that extent best placed to provide workable solutions not only for themselves but for the entire world," he added

Dr. Singh further termed as unfortunate the slow progress of discussions on climate change at the UNFCC.

The Prime Minister stressed on reducing the cost of solar energy, wind energy and other renewable energy production to ensure market viability of clean energy initiatives.

He further said efforts are on to expand solar and wind energy projects and the country envisages achieving 22 thousand megawatt solar energy capacity under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission.

He said, 1500 megawatts solar capacity have already been installad and another 10,000 megawat will be added by 2017 in two years time.

Dr. Singh also said that the National Institute of Solar Energy will be set up in India by 2015 to promote solar energy innovation.

"As part of the Solar Mission we are setting up a National Institute of Solar Energy, which would be a global level R and D centre, which could draw upon international cooperation as well, to enable the creation of more affordable and convenient solar power systems, and promote innovations that enable the storage of solar power for sustained, long-term use. It is expected that this Institute will be in position by the year 2015," he added. (ANI)