Brisbane: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today proposed a global virtual centre for clean energy research and development, with adequate public funding and also invited G20 countries to invest in India’s expanding energy sector. Modi made the proposal while observing that increased access to affordable, assured and clean energy supply for all should be a primary goal of the global community.
“It is a major economic opportunity for all countries,” he said. The Prime Minister made the reference to issues relating to energy during his intervention at the plenary session of the G20 summit here. He invited the G20 countries which is a grouping of industrialised and emerging economies to come and invest in the energy sector in India.
“Energy efficiency is the best source of clean energy. In India, for example, building energy efficiency and efficiency in areas such as buildings, household appliances and industrial goods is receiving strong attention. I invite you to come and invest in this sector in India,” he said.
Modi also said he believed that change in lifestyle and economy in consumption will be the most enduring response to energy challenges. The Prime Minister also called for an ambitious and innovative effort to make renewable energy, especially solar energy, competitive with conventional energy.
PM Modi at the G20 summit. Reuters.
“In Gujarat, the canal-top project worked well and saved water, too,” he said. Modi also said the pricing of carbon, especially in mature markets with universal availability of power, can stimulate shift to renewable energy. “Let us increase our collective R&D efforts and collaboration; and, ensure dissemination to all countries. For this, I would propose that we set up a global virtual centre for clean energy research and development, with adequate public funding, which will fund collaborative projects in diverse sources of clean energy, smart grids, energy efficiency, etc,” he said.
“India and the United States have built an excellent virtual centre on a bilateral basis, with matching public and private funding. We can select a team of outstanding experts to evaluate and judge research projects. The results should be available to all countries,” he added.
The Prime Minister said there should be a discussion on innovative funding models to ensure rapid expansion of renewable energy in a decentralised manner in rural areas. In countries like India, there are vast opportunities for those wishing to invest in clean coal technology, since India’s dependence will not reduce very soon, he added. Modi also said G20 can be effective in promoting an integrated natural gas market, ensuring freer trade in gas and ensuring that the markets operate more efficiently. Referring to nuclear energy, Modi said it can still be a safe, reliable and clean source of energy. “It will be an important part of our mix,” he added.