Chicago – Minister of New and Renewable Energy, Farooq Abdullah, on September 21 discussed ways to reduce the cost of producing solar power and said the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission aims to establish India as a leader in the field.
Abdullah was addressing the ‘US-India Economic Opportunities and Synergy Summit’ jointly organized by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and The Executives’ Club of Chicago. The event is being held on the sidelines of the centennial celebrations of The Executives’ Club of Chicago.
The club collaborated with the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and the Delhi Committee of Chicago Sister Cities, besides FICCI, to organize the event.
Indian Ambassador to the U.S. Nirupama Rao and the Indian Consul General in Chicago, Mukta Dutta Tomar, also attended.
Abdullah said India aims to generate 15 per cent of its total electricity output from renewable energy by 2020. “India is targeting an installed capacity for solar energy of 20 giga watts by the year 2022,” he said.
Many new companies are planning to enter the Indian market and production facilities are being planned.
The mission has opened many opportunities for other countries, the minister informed. “We also like to invite US companies in manufacturing… and provide a committed market to make manufacturing profitable and successful,” he said.
“We’ve also allowed companies to bid for a maximum of 50 MW capacity, we hope that this will strengthen the investment climate and will also attract more investment in manufacturing. The government will continue to push solar power investment,” he said.
“The Payment Security Scheme will help bankability of projects,” he said, adding, “We’re also planning an ambitious Phase 2 project and to produce at least 30,000 MW of power by 2022.”
“Many Indian states were implementing their own plans for solar power. The National Solar Mission is divided into three phases up to 2022. With over 15 MW of installed capacity, India will reach a great position in the world,” Abdullah said.
Abdullah noted that as per Ernst & Young‘s Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index for 2011, India shares third position with Germany in terms of its attractiveness for new investment in the renewable energy sector.
“Our business climate is a good and India is a perfect investment destination. I look for meaningful joint cooperation… God Bless India, God Bless America,” Abdullah added.
Later, the Lieutenant Governor of Illinois, Sheila Simon, spoke about her experience with India and said she hoped to visit India as soon as possible. Simon said that Illinois was the seventh-largest wind energy producing state in America.
Simon also said that this year, the Delhi Committee of Chicago Sister Cities has completed ten years of existence and plans to travel to India to build more bridges.
Later in the evening, a dinner was hosted by the Indian Consulate for Abdullah.