Report from the Inaugural Plenary of DIREC 2010

On 26th October 2010 the DIREC 2010 conference was opened by the Inaugural Plenary Session in New Delhi.

Honorable President of India, Smt Pratibha Devisingh Patil addressed the Opening Plenary Session and stated that Renewable energy is an important component of India’s energy planning process leading to the development of one of the largest and most diverse renewable energy programs in the world with the goal of achieving national energy security and energy access. She also emphasized that DIREC 2010 will provide a opportunity for all the countries participating, to focus on policy enablers which would remove barriers affecting the promotion and usage of clean energy.

Honorable Union Minister for New & Renewable Energy, Dr Farooq Abdullah said, “Renewable energy’s role is in serving the aam aadmi by providing energy access to millions of disadvantaged and remote habitations is by itself a sufficient reason to pursue this course vigorously and passionately, not just in India but in entire developing world”.

The renewable energy share for additional global power generation (excluding large hydropower) has increased from 5 % in 2003 to 23 % in 2008, globally. The fastest growing energy technology in the world is grid-connected solar photovoltaics (PV), with 60 % annual average growth rate for the 5 year period. In India, Hydro contributes to around 10 % of the country’s electric installed capacity. In addition, over 7,000 remote and inaccessible villages and hamlets have been provided with basic electricity services through distributed renewable power systems. India is ranked fifth globally for installed wind capacity and second for biogas generation. MNRE aims to set up around 25 GW of renewable power by 2012 and 85 GW by 2022. MNRE’s policy for promotion of renewables include: a) providing budgetary support for research, development and demonstration of technologies; b) facilitating institutional finance from various financial institutions; and c) promoting private investment through fiscal incentives, tax holidays, depreciation allowance and remunerative returns for power fed into the grid.

As per Mr Deepak Gupta, Secretary, Ministry of New & Renewable Energy, “DIREC 2010 has delegates coming from nearly 70 countries and over 600 exhibitors are going to be a part of India’s largest Renwable Energy Conference and trade show”. He also added that at DIREC “a separate CEO roundtable for a high level representation of the companies worldwide to seek the business perspective for the development of renewables worldwide is also being held to deliberate on  policy catalysts needed  to scale up the growth in this sector.

The International Advisory Committee and Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN 21) Secretariat have formulated the conference framework that would essentially focus on:

  • Policy efforts to encourage and enable renewables scale up
  • Mobilizing finance for Renewable Energy innovation and deployment
  • Benefits of collaboration, synergies, and knowledge sharing at the international level to scale up Renewable Energy
  • Link from Copenhagen to Cancun via DIREC

Dr Mohamed El-Ashrey, Chairman, REN21 said, “India is setting an example for other emerging economies on accelerating the use of renewable resources. Today, India ranks fifth in the world in installed wind power capacity. The Government of India is to be applauded for inviting and encouraging policymakers, business representatives, and members of civil society from across the world to come to Delhi for the DIREC 2010 and jointly explore effective ways to scale up renewable energy and attract more investment in their countries.”

A Pledge Program – Delhi International Action Programme (DIAP) – has also been launched as part of DIREC 2010. DIAP is a joint effort of Government of India and REN21 that encourages governments, international organizations, private companies, industry associations, and civil society organizations to take action for up scaling renewable energy within their own jurisdictions/ spheres of responsibility. It is a powerful and flexible mechanism to stimulate voluntary action on renewable. Awards are proposed for Pledges with the Most Visible Achievements.

The trade show at DIREC 2010 will be the largest business-to-business exhibition ever held on renewable energies in India. It will provide renewable energy companies an unparalleled opportunity to interact, to develop new projects, explore investment opportunities and set up joint ventures; showcasing products and innovations; allow practitioners to learn about new technologies and their applications; exposure to global markets; sales and media coverage.

A green village showcasing different renewable energy technologies has been constructed at the conference venue. Indian Youth Climate Network comprising of more than 10,000 strong network of climate change enthusiasts from universities across India are coming together to discuss on the concept of Entrepreneurship in Clean Technologies amongst the youth.

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