Corporate sector urged to switch to renewable energy resources

August 21st, 2008 - 8:33 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 21 (IANS) Minister of State for New and Renewable Energy Vilas Muttemwar Thursday called on the private sector to switch to renewable energy resources, rather than depend on polluting and depleting fossil fuels.Inaugurating a three-day international exhibition and conference Renewable Energy India 2008 Expo, Muttemwar said India has abundant potential for harnessing energy from renewable resources such as solar, wind, biomass and hydro.

This, he said, would improve India’s energy security.

Muttemwar said concessional import duty on certain components, excise duty exemption and 10-year tax holiday on income generated from wind power projects will continue to be extended to private players.

He also said his ministry - which has targeted generation of 14,000 MW from green energy sources - has strengthened research base and industrial infrastructure to keep pace with international development.

The minister appealed to the business community to participate in these efforts.

According to leading international auditor Ernst and Young, India ranks third behind the US and Germany on the index for renewable energy country attractiveness, because of a number of tax breaks and feed-in tariffs.

The renewable energy ministry says India has an installed capacity of 12,600 MW, out of which about 8,700 MW is generated through wind power.

By 2011, it hopes to increase the total generation from renewable energy to 14,000 mw.

As per government targets, renewable energy will contribute to 10 percent of electricity generation by 2012 and 20 percent by 2020.

The most ambitious and entirely market-driven wind power programme has been highly successful as India currently occupies fourth position globally.

Renewable Energy Secretary Deepak Gupta said India was also emerging as a solar power hub, on account of two factors: the government provides fiscal incentives to solar cell and photovoltaic manufacturers, and global demand for renewable energy sources is surging.

The government gives incentive in the form of 20 percent capital subsidy and exemption from countervailing duties on imports.

“This new-found rush for solar photovoltaic facilities can be contributed partly to the semiconductor policy announced by the centre in February this year,” said Gupta.

Nearly 200 exhibitors among 20 countries are taking part in the international fair and conference organised by Exhibitions India, showcasing products and technologies in solar, wind, small hydro and biomass.

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