India to boost clean energy

April 18, 2013 at 1:32 PM
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NEW DELHI, April 18 (UPI) -- India aims to double its renewable energy capacity to 55,000 megawatts by 2017, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said.

The initiative would include exploiting non-conventional energy sources such as solar, wind power and energy from biomass, Singh told the Clean Energy Ministerial Meeting Wednesday in New Delhi.

But in his speech to the CEM, whose members include 22 countries representing more than 75 percent of global energy consumption and 80 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, Singh said progress in climate talks was "painfully slow" and that the goal of stabilizing global temperatures was "nowhere in sight."

Singh said rich nations, which were responsible for the bulk of greenhouse gas emissions, should come up with solutions to mitigate climate change.

"The industrialized nations have high per capita incomes, which gives them the highest capacity to bear the burden," he said.

"They are technically most advanced and to that extent best placed to provide workable solutions not only for themselves but for the whole world. Unfortunately, progress in these negotiations is painfully slow."

Noting that developing countries account for 82 percent of the world's population but use 55 percent of available global supply of energy, Singh said their efforts to achieve economic growth to improve living standards will increase the demand for energy.

"If they follow the industrialized countries in meeting their energy requirements through fossil fuel based energy, we know that the impact on the global climate would be simply unsustainable," he warned.

In its annual "Tracking Clean Energy Progress" report to the CEM, the International Energy Agency cites India as among the countries that enhanced policy support for the renewable electricity sector in 2012. Other countries included China and Brazil.

The report said growth of renewable technologies is one of the positive points in what it says was an otherwise bleak assessment of global progress toward low-carbon energy.

"The drive to clean up the world's energy system has stalled," IEA Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven told the CEM. "Despite much talk by world leaders, and despite a boom in renewable energy over the last decade, the average unit of energy produced today is basically as dirty as it was 20 years ago."

Noting that the CEM governments represent 4.1 billion people and three-quarters of global gross domestic product, Van der Hoeven said together, the governments "have the power to set the clean energy transition in motion and now it is time for them to use it."

The first CEM was 2010 in Washington.

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