President Pranab Mukherjee on Friday stressed the need to use clean and renewable energy to meet the country’s growing power demand. The President was inaugurating the country’s first-of-its-kind microgrid power project — which uses solar, wind and biogas energy to produce electricity — as well as the Centre for Water and Environmental Research at the Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology (IIEST) at Shibpur here.
“These two centres hold utmost importance in providing practical solutions to the problems faced by people. In India, more than 300 million people do not have access to 24×7 electricity. We need these kinds of centres to provide electricity to people without harming the environment,” the President said.
The President said he was “happy” the Union Cabinet decided to ramp up power generation by clearing a proposal to build 10 indigenous Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors, each with a capacity to produce 700 MW, according to PTI.
Mukherjee also lauded the country’s progress in space science. However, he stressed that electricity and clean, arsenic free drinking water should be provided to people, particularly those in rural areas.
“Although the country is making tremendous progress by launching various satellites at one go, providing and ensuring safe drinking water to the people of the country is an area where much needs to be done,” the President said.
Former ISRO chairman and chairperson of the Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology Board of Governors, K Radhakrishnan, its director Ajoy Kumar Ray, and registrar Biman Bandyopadhyay and state Power Minister Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay were all present at the inauguration event.
The Integrated Renewable Energy Smart Microgrid Centre at the institute makes use of 600-1,000 kgs of kitchen and food waste from across the entire campus in order to produce biogas energy. The micro-grid can offer a complete solution for 24×7 electricity access in regions having either no grid or weak and unreliable grids, project coordinator professor Hiranmay Saha told PTI.