Karnataka will soon be the flagbearer of the country’s renewable energy sector as it is already the single largest ethanol production hub in Asia, opined an expert panel on energy spoke at Global Investors’ Meet in Bengaluru on Thursday.
The country has the mandate to meet 50% of its energy requirements through renewable sources, which is around 20% currently, by 2030. To achieve this ambitious target, policymakers and industry players should get into quick action and also encourage entrepreneurs and farmers to take up ventures around renewable energy, they said.
The panel deliberated around the theme ‘Reinventing the energy ecosystem: Future of energy generation in the world’ and felt Karnataka has all the prerequisites to emerge as the flagbearer of the country’s renewable energy sector.
India should become a net exporter of energy by producing cheap green nitrogen, hydrogen, and also other alternative renewable energy sources, said G. Kumar Naik, Additional Chief Secretary, Energy Department, Government of Karnataka.
“We have to work quickly to reach the goal. By 2030, 50% of India’s energy requirement should be met through renewable sources. Today, some 85% of the oil burnt and 50% of the gas consumed in our country are imported. We have to become a net exporter of energy,’‘ he added.
Vijay M. Nirani, managing director of MRN Group, one of the largest producers of sugar, said Karnataka was already leading the nation in the renewable energy sector and it was also the largest ethanol production hub in Asia. According to Mr. Nirani, farmers, especially sugarcane farmers, today are suffering a lot as farming has increasingly become non-profitable and remunerative.
“But they should realise, it is not just sugar, there are several byproducts of sugarcane, including ethanol which is produced from molasses. We need to move away from fossil fuels and the usage of ethanol will help reduce pollution,’‘ added Mr. Nirani.
N. Venu, MD & CEO – India and South Asia, Hitachi Energy, said, “We now have to catch up speed to accelerate the growth of renewable sector.’‘