According to reports, greater adoption of solar power technologies will not only reduce the growing dependence on fossil fuel, cut energy costs, create business opportunities and numerous new jobs, but will also lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions on a significant scale, said experts at a Seminar and Exhibition on Accelerating Implementation of Solar Water Heating Systems here on Tuesday.
Organised by the Union Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) and the West Bengal Renewable Energy Development Agency (WBREDA) in association with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), the United Nation Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the Indo-German Development Cooperation (GIZ), the seminar aimed to raise awareness about the long-term and multiple benefits of solar water heaters (SWH) across India including West Bengal.
Minister of State for Sunderban Affairs and Irrigation & Waterways, West Bengal, Manturam Pakhira revealed the state government’s resolve to popularize solar power, which he said would transform the power scenario in the state, especially in remote areas such as the Sunderbans.
West Bengal Minister for Water Resources Investigation and Development, S K Mahapatro admitted that West Bengal’s progress in the domain of the solar is relatively sluggish compared ti other parts of the country.
However, the minister exuded optimism that very soon the State will grab a place among the front-runners such as Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra.
Earlier, during a presentation, Joint Secretary, Union Ministry of New & Renewable Energy, Tarun Kapoor said solar energy is the most potent and sustainable solution to India’s per capita power needs.
“It is the easiest to install, the price of electricity is nil and the maintenance cost virtually non-existent. That is why renewable energy is fast growing in popularity in India. We have done very well in wind energy – India is number 5 in the world. Now, we need to step up our efforts to make a mark in solar power, too,” Kapoor said.
Kapoor also presented a report card on solar power in which West Bengal ranks low. “It is time the State made concerted efforts to popularize solar power. Let people know about the multiple benefits of solar power, and also the government subsidies on offer.”
Vice-Chancellor, Bengal Engineering and Science University (BESU), Professor Ajoy Kumar Roy said tapping renewable energy sources such as solar is of paramount importance at a time when ozone layer is being depleted, and as a result, chances of lethal diseases such as cancer are increasing.
“The sun is the source of light and heat. Proper and efficient utilization of the light and heat spectrum is the imperative,” Roy said.
He also disclosed that WBREDA in association with BESU will set up a centre of excellence and an R&D centre on solar power very soon.