NEW DELHI, Feb 15: To bridge the energy deficit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today made a strong pitch for making renewable sources like solar and wind power affordable, even as he asserted that this green energy push was not to impress the world.
He also said India is working on building a consortium of 50 countries with abundant solar radiation, to pool research and technological advancements to improve its accessibility to the poor and in the remote areas.
Inaugurating the first Renewable Energy Global Investors Meet (RE-Invest), Modi also talked about "seven horses of energy" and said India has so far focused on thermal, gas, hydro and nuclear power and efforts should now shift to solar, wind and biogas.
The Prime Minister asserted that India's stress on renewable energy is not aimed at "impressing the world, but to meet our own people's energy requirements."
About 60 percent of India's electricity comes through coal. India has long resisted pressure to commit to any emissions targets on the grounds that it could hamper its economy and hurt the poor.
During a visit to India last month, US President Barack Obama had said the world does not stand a chance against climate change unless developing nations such as India reduce their dependence on fossil fuels.
On the first day of the three-day event, as many as 293 companies, including NTPC, Suzlon and Reliance Power, today committed to set up plants to generate 266 GW of renewable energy in 5 years, while country's largest lender, SBI committed Rs 75,000 crore for generation of 15,000 MW of clean energy over a period of 5 years.
Describing India's thrust towards renewable energy production as an effort to ensure universal energy access for India's poor, Modi said India has graduated from megawatts to gigawatts in terms of renewable energy production.
"The fruits of development will not reach the common man until energy reaches last household of the country," he said.
"In this age of globalisation, we have no option but to make a quantum leap in energy production and connectivity."
The cost of electricity from solar photo-voltaic cells has come down from Rs 20 per unit to Rs 7.50 and research and innovation can help bring it down further, Modi said.