Faced with limited energy sources and high cost of imports, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday called for innovation and research to develop renewable energy like solar and wind power to provide affordable electricity to every household. Inaugurating the first Renewable Energy Global Investors Meet (RE-Invest), Modi called for collaboration between the 50 nations with abundant solar power to develop technological solutions.
Stating that the role of energy in development was very important, he said, “We want to increase speed and at the same time scale new heights of development and one of the sectors is energy.” Drawing from his experience as the Chief Minister of Gujarat when solar panels were installed above water canals to not just generate electricity but also to cut water evaporation by 40 per cent, Modi said solar energy can be used to power irrigation pumps and increase crop productivity through micro irrigation.
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“We are focussing on renewable energy not for laurels but to lighten homes of the poor and bring a change in their lives,” he said. “We have ponds, can we think of solar panels on top of these ponds? We need to think of innovative ideas.” He said the cost of electricity from solar photovoltaic cells has come down from Rs 20 per unit to Rs 7.50 and research and innovation can help bring it down further.
Hybrid power generation involving solar and wind energy should be encouraged as it will help save on transmission and power evacuation infrastructure cost, he said. Modi also called for developing domestic manufacturing of renewable energy equipment to create jobs. Conserving energy, he said, is the need of the hour. “The more energy we save, the more we can save the next generations. Energy can be saviour of generations.”