India Joins China in Plans to Increase Solar Power
By Natalie Obiko Pearson, Bloomberg.com
India is targeting generation of 20,000 megawatts of solar power by 2022, joining China as the two Asian nations that resist emission caps draft plans to boost renewable energy before next month’s global climate change talks.
India, Asia’s third-biggest energy consumer, is set to unveil its national solar energy plan “in about a week,” Minister for New and Renewable Energy Farooq Abdullah said in Mumbai today.
China and India have opposed legally binding caps as industrialized nations seek commitments for programs that will curb the output of gases blamed for global warming. The two fastest-growing major economies balk at emission targets because their energy usage is projected to rise as more people are lifted out of poverty.
“It’s not a big challenge in terms of technology or engineering,” said Shirish Garud of the Energy and Resources Institute in New Delhi. “The major challenge will be in mobilizing the financing.”
Solar capacity costs anywhere from 160 million rupees to 200 million rupees per megawatt to install, Garud said. Abdullah didn’t give details of spending, saying only that the amount would be “huge.”
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh plans to discuss India’s solar plan at talks with U.S. President Barack Obama, Abdullah said. Obama will host Singh at the first state dinner of his presidency on Nov. 24.
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