Finland offers India expertise in clean energy space

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

NEW DELHI - Finland, one of the largest producers of renewable energy, has offered its expertise to India in the clean energy space and become New Delhi’s partner in attracting technology and $55-billion investment in this area over five years.

“Finland can offer a broad range of expertise to support India’s growth and development, especially in the production and use of clean energy,” said Paavo Vayrynen, minister for foreign trade and development from the Nordic country.

“We are among the leading countries in energy efficiency and use of renewable energy and generate about a quarter of the total energy consumption through renewable sources like wind, solar. We want to take the share of such energy to 38 percent by 2020,” he added.

Vayrynen was here to attend an international conference on renewable energy along with a large Finnish delegation of companies operating in the area of clean energy space, which was represented under a common “CleanTech Finland” brand.

India’s national action plan on climate change had laid out a target of generating 15 percent of total power from renewable sources by 2020, starting with five percent in 2010.

It plans to generate 20,000 MW through solar power alone by 2020. Such ambitious plan, along with incentives provided at the state and federal levels, have led to a spurt in foreign companies in the clean energy space to come to India.

“We know that India is facing some big challenges in its future development,” said the Finnish minister who also met India’s New and Renewable Energy Minister Farooq Abdullah and briefed him on the competence and experience of Finnish companies in this area.

“Finnish know-how on environmental and clean technology, energy efficiency solutions and innovative high-tech sector can most certainly be an integral part of India’s development,” he told reporters on the sideline of the conference.

Minister Abdullah said 10,000 villages across the country would be electrified with renewable sources by 2012 with an added objective of creating employment. One person will be appointed in each village to maintain the power plants, he added.

At the macro level, India sees potential in taking its energy output from renewable sources from around 6,000 MW now to over 80,000 MW in 10 years. It is already a leading producer of wind energy and has huge untapped potential in tidal and solar energy.

According to the organisers, more than 9,000 delegates, over 250 speakers and 600 exhibitors from 50 countries are participating at the three-day conference at the India Expo Centre and Mart in Greater Noida on the outskirts of the national capital.

This is the fourth in the series of global conferences on renewable energy, following the initiative at the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg to acknowledge the significance of renewable energy for sustainable development.

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