Innovations in renewable energy will give boost to Atmanirbhar Bharat, says Piyush Goyal

NEW DELHI: Reiterating the government’s vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat, Piyush Goyal, Minister of Railways and Commerce & Industry on Wednesday stated that India should vie for a leadership role in global renewable power initiatives and connect the villages as well in this futuristic programme.

Delivering his inaugural address at the launch of ‘Powering Livelihoods’, an initiative by The Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) and Villgro Innovations Foundation, the minister highlighted that a lot of innovations are coming up in the renewable energy space.

Urging the council to look at sectors such as cold storage, water and small textile powerlooms, Goyal said that the mission for Railways is to be 100% electrified by 2022. “By 2030, we will be a net zero carbon emitter. Today we are transporting 1.2 billion tonnes of freight. We hope that this will go up to 2 billion tonnes in the next 5 years and will be the world’s first large railway of this dimension. There is a lot of surplus land and land across tracks to generate 20 GW of Made in India solar equipment or wind equipment in use. This will give us 20 GW production capacity of renewable energy and enough kilowatt hours to power our entire railway,” he stated.

Referring to the cold storage system, the minister added that conducive cold storage solutions with interplay of renewable energy can be of immense help especially in the peak hours.

Goyal also spoke about the plans of the government to ensure water reached every home by 2024. “RO plants will become the labour of the future. Connecting them with renewable energy to get clean drinking and cooking water is the way forward. Many areas have shortage of water. For example Tamil Nadu. Desalination of plants will be of immense help – not only does it make water available but it is also clean water,” he added.

Emphasising that the triangle of innovators & startups, industry and government is imperative to bring such solutions to scale, Goyal stated that such efforts can help to strengthen our ‘transmission network.’ He suggested the need to develop a viable electric cooking system for fast cooking which can be a big leg up for the plans laid out by the government. Such a system, he said, can offer a huge domestic manufacturing potential. “So far we have induction heating and electric cooking but it takes very long. Fast cooking mechanisms through electric cooking which can replace cooking gas will be a big boost. 280 million homes need cooking – if all of them can be converted into electric cooking, think of the scale, savings and potential in terms of carbon emission. Ultimately all of this can move to renewable energy,” he reasoned.

The virtual launch was also attended by Damilola Ogunbiyi, CEO and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All, and Co-Chair of UN-Energy; and Rajiv Kumar, Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog, among others. The Rs 22 crore initiative provides capital and technical support to Indian enterprises working on clean energy-based livelihoods solutions. It also recently offered a cumulative emergency funding of Rs 1 crore to six selected enterprises which could help them tide over the current crises caused by Covid-19.

Abhishek Jain, who is leading the initiative at CEEW, said, “Under Powering Livelihoods, we will help enterprises in the clean energy-based livelihoods sector to get better support from financiers, investors and policymakers. This will help them scale up and achieve meaningful impact.”

Over 40 lakh microenterprises in India indicate lack of electricity as the top bottleneck to their business. While about 60 clean energy innovations for livelihoods exist, their deployment on the ground is limited to hundreds, at best.

Innovations in renewable energy will give boost to Atmanirbhar Bharat, says Piyush Goyal Innovations in renewable energy will give boost to Atmanirbhar Bharat, says Piyush Goyal Reviewed by TechCO on 8/26/2020 Rating: 5

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