‘Renewable energy potential in State needs to be harnessed’

A group of legislators in Karnataka, forming part of the Climate Parliament, a global network of lawmakers working to combat climate change, want a committee on energy to be constituted in the Assembly to identify and implement key energy issues in the State.

In doing so, the objectives would be to work towards inclusive development, energy security, clean energy access, affordability and energy efficiency. A memorandum underscoring the significance of having such a committee from the multi-party group of legislators was submitted to Speaker Kagodu Thimmappa on Tuesday evening.

Minister of State for Food and Civil Supplies Dinesh Gundu Rao, who is also chairperson of the Climate Parliament Karnataka Chapter, and Chandrakant Bellad, its convener, led the group. In a press release, issued by the Climate Parliament, Mr. Rao said there was tremendous renewable energy potential in the State and it needed to be adequately harnessed to meet the growing power demand. While a revised solar policy was passed by the Cabinet recently, the State renewable energy policy lapses this year. “We need to develop a long-term and comprehensive policy to augment renewable energy development in Karnataka,” he said.

Mr. Bellad said apart from helping ensure comprehensive energy development, with a boost to the renewable energy sector, such a committee would help the legislators be informed about the various issues, subsidies provided, and rural electrification. Other MLA-signatories to the memorandum were P. Sudhakarlal, K.S. Puttannaiah, Anand C. Mamani, T. Raghumurthy, Vijayanand Kashappanavvar, Eshwar Khandre, Tanveer Sait and Mallikarjun S. Khuba.

With a large wind, biomass and solar-based potential, renewable energy capacity addition is the way forward for meeting the increasing power demand in the State, according to the release.

To support their demand, they pointed to West Bengal, Odisha, and Andhra Pradesh which had such committees to deal with the energy sector. Rajasthan, Kerala and Tamil Nadu, the memorandum said, had standing committees on environment or environment and forests that often dealt with renewable energy.

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