India setting up investment cell for new energy: Abdullah

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India is setting up an Investment Promotion Cell for the energy sector to provide a single point of contact for investors, says a PTI report.

In the next five years, the country plans to invest US$ 50 billion in renewable energy, including US$ 19 billion in wind, US$ 25 billion in solar and US$ 3 billion each in the hydro and biomass segments, Minister of New and Renewable Energy, Farooq Abdullah said.

“The cell will be our window for potential investors to engage with us and bring their efforts and ideas to fruition,”Abdullah told press persons after addressing an investors’ meet recently.

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He asked global investors to invest in India’s renewable energy sector and support its quest for a low carbon and environmentally sustainable growth path.

“We strongly believe that it will be a win-win situation for all of us,” he said, asking investors to forge partnerships in the country. Abdullah said more than 40 investors attended the meet and “they seemed to be very keen to invest in solar and wind projects”.

Further, he said India has seen an “impressive increase in installed power capacity, from about 1,350 MW at the time of independence 65 years ago to about 2,00,000 MW at present”.

However, he added that despite such big strides, about 33 per cent of India’s rural households are still deprived of access to commercial energy sources.

“The average per capita consumption of energy in India is still quite low at around 800 units per annum,” he said.

“India today stands among the top five countries in terms of renewable energy capacity, with an installed base of over 25,000 MW, which is around 12.5 per cent of the total power generation capacity, contributing to about 6 per cent in the electricity mix.” he said.

“We have decided to increase the share of renewable energy in our power production during the 12th Plan period (2012-17) by increasing the installed capacity by about 30,000 MW,” he added.

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