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Innovation & market adaptation way ahead for renewables, say experts

MUMBAI: Adapting to market demands and innovation will be the way forward for clean energy sources and technologies, experts from India and Japan said at the Global Partnership Summit here on Monday. The panel of experts was discussing the theme of ‘Clean Energy Sources and Technology’, especially the role of solar energy in India’s renewable energy expansion plan.

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The discussion saw the participation of Masatsugu Shimono, Vice Chairman, IBM, Japan; Taishi Sugiyama, Senior Research Fellow, The Canon Institute for Global Studies; Aishwarya Kachhal, Indus Towers Limited and Prity Khastgir, Founder & CEO, Tech Corp International Strategist (TCIS). The session was moderated by Pranav Mehta, Founder Chairman, National Solar Energy Federation of India.

Setting the tone for the discussion, Mehta stressed that renewable energy has figured prominently in the Paris climate accord that has been ratified by 170 countries till now. He pointed out that while the developed countries were leading renewable energy production a few years back, China has now sped ahead by becoming the world’s top solar energy producer, ahead of United States of America, Germany and Japan. India is the sixth largest producer of solar energy and a recent report by consulting firm Bridge to India said that India’s solar energy capacity is expected to touch 20GW or 20,000 MW by the end of 2017-18 financial year. Currently, around 22% of India’s power comes from renewable energy sources, Mehta said.

Mehta added that there is also an urgent need for energy efficiency as conventional energy production sees significant loss during generation, distribution, storage and use.

Meanwhile, researcher Taishi Sugiyama said that in the coming years, electric vehicles, self-driven cars and car sharing are going to be major contributors in cutting carbon emissions. “Carbon dioxide emissions can be reduced up to 100% and can also bring a host of economic benefits,” said Sugiyama.

The panelists also emphasized RE’s impact on social innovation, health and livelihoods of people. Keeping in mind the present growth rate of the economy, the energy needs are expected to double in the next 6 to 7 years. To meet these needs, solar harvesting and big data analytics will play a pivotal role, said Prity Kshatgir.

The Global Partnership Summit has evolved from the India Japan Global Partnership and the three-day event will see participation of over 200 speakers including central government ministers, industry leaders, academicians and social entrepreneurs. They will speak on issues such as clean energy, urban development, mobility, health and education among others.