Rajasthan is set to play a major role in solar and renewable energy, according to its Governor Margaret Alva.

“Energy is the key to progress. At the same time, it is a big challenge too. Rajasthan is a national leader in solar energy and under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission, a majority of the solar projects are located in Rajasthan. In wind energy, India is globally positioned at No. 5, generating 11,000 MW after the U.S., Germany, China and Spain,” she said.

Ms. Alva was speaking at the inaugural session of the 4th national conference on green buildings & renewable energy, jointly organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry, Indian Green Building Council and the Rajasthan government. It was attended by over 200 delegates and addressed by 15 experts from across the country.

The solar mission was launched in 2010 with an ambitious target of deploying 20,000 MW of grid connected power by 2022. It aims at reducing the cost of solar power generation through long-term policy, large-scale deployment goals, aggressive R&D and domestic production of critical raw materials, components and products, in order to achieve grid tariff parity by the target year.

Prashant Kapoor, Principal Industry Specialist (Green Buildings) at the International Finance Corporation, said carbon-dioxide and Greenhouse Gases (GHG) were the main causes for climate change.

“To get solutions, government and private sector have to work together. Companies have to reduce water consumption in processing plants, conserve energy and save environment,” he noted.

Dr. G.S. Sandhu, Additional Chief Secretary, Urban Development and Housing, said climate change presented a unique and daunting challenge to the world and adopting green buildings would go a long way in mitigating the effects of this phenomenon.

S. Raghupathy, Executive Director, CII Sohrabji Godrej Green Building Centre, Hyderabad, suggested approaches such as solar air-conditioning, green townships and green roofs in order to “make a green Rajasthan.”

Ratnesh Kashyap, Chairman of the CII’s Rajasthan State Council, said the building sector accounted for 30-40 per cent of global GHG emissions.

“The CII feels that long-term policy interventions, attracting investments, providing financing mechanisms and developing innovative technologies are some of the vital factors which could provide a major fillip to renewable energy efforts in the country and specifically in the State,” he pointed out.