Stating that India had launched itself to double the renewable energy capacity to 55000 MW by 2017, Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh on Wednseday expressed serious concern over the "painfully slow" progress of climate change talks, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday lamented that the goal of stabilising global temperatures at acceptable levels was nowhere in sight.

Delivering the inaugural address at the Fourth Clean Energy Ministerial, Dr. Singh said India had drawn up plans to double its renewable energy capacity to 55,000 MW by 2017 as part initiatives to promote renewable energy use. "It is proposed to double the renewable energy capacity in our country from 25000 MW in 2012 to 55000 MW by the year 2017. This would include exploiting non-conventional energy sources such as solar, wind power and energy from biomass," he added.

The Prime Minister said rich nations, who were responsible for a bulk of greenhouse gas emissions, were best placed to provide workable solutions to mitigate climate change. "The industrialised nations have high per capita incomes, which gives them the highest capacity to bear the burden. 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. The goal of stabilising global temperatures at acceptable levels is nowhere in sight," he remarked.

"In India, we have set ourselves a national target of increasing the efficiency of energy use to bring about a 20 to 25 per cent reduction in the energy intensity of our GDP by 2020. The 12th Plan envisaged an expanded role for clean energy, including hydro, solar and wind power. The cost of solar energy for example has nearly halved over the last two years, though it remains higher than the cost of fossil fuel based electricity. If the cost imposed by carbon emissions is taken into account, then solar energy is more cost effective, but it is still more expensive," added.

He said developing countries account for 82 per cent of the world’s population and they use 55 per cent of the available global supply of energy. "They must aim at faster growth of their GDP to improve the living standards of their populations and this will entail an expanded demand for energy. If they follow the industrialised 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 stated.

He said there is need for inter-country consultation and discussion in these areas to promote information exchange and to identify possible areas of collaboration, and also to learn from each other’s experience in addressing common problems. The initiative for launching the New Delhi Ministerial was taken by Dr. Steven Chu, US Energy Secretary, who is also a very distinguished Nobel Laureate.

He also setting up of a National Institute of Solar Energy, which would be a global level R&D centre, which could draw upon international cooperation as well, to enable the creation of more affordable and convenient solar power systems, and promote innovations that enable the storage of solar power for sustained, long-term use. It is expected to be operational by 2015.

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