The core committee meeting of Climate Parliament India network took place on the evening of 6th August 2014. It was chaired by Mr. Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Chairperson of Climate Parliament India network and was attended by close to 35 legislators from state legislative assemblies and the Indian Parliament.
Detailed discussions on the current status of renewable energy in India, activities of the network and future steps to be taken were carried out. Mr. Rudy in his inaugural address talked about the global Climate Parliament network and its activities, initiatives and achievements. He also talked about the growing presence of the network in the states, with the special emphasis on the state level networks. Further, he highlighted the issues of lack of access to electricity in the country, National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) and the need for a mission mode program for improving energy access in India.
The inaugural address was followed by a speech from Dr. Sanjay Jaiswal, Convenor of Climate Parliament India. He primarily talked about the success of the network’s efforts in increasing the overall budgetary allocation of Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) increased. Hon. MLA Mr. Krishna Hegde from Maharashtra, Hon. MLA Mr. Amar Satpathy from Odisha and Mr. Dinesh Gundu Rao, Minister from the Government of Karnataka and Chairperson Climate Parliament Karnataka network, talked about Climate Parliament activities in their respective states.
The Secretary of the MNRE, Mr. Upendra Tripathy and Joint Secretary, Mr. Alok Srivastava also attended the meeting. Mr. Tripathy gave a presentation on the renewable energy programs and schemes of the Ministry, the targets envisaged for the country and the policies that are likely to be launched under the new Government.
The key highlight of the meeting was the participation of Mr. Piyush Goyal, the Minister of State for Power, Coal and New and Renewable Energy as the chief guest. Mr. Goyal stated that according to him, states can play a major role in renewable energy development as electricity is a concurrent subject. He further said that solar energy has tremendous potential in India and that the Government intends to put itself a much higher target in this sector. He put great stress on the solar parks scheme and that state Governments will need to come forward to make this possible through faster land identification, clearances and grid connectivitiy. He also stated that India still needs to develop its solar manufacturing base over the next few years and Government would provide support to domestic manufacturers. He further added that the wind energy sector might witness some improvement after the re-introduction of the Accelerated Depreciation (AD) benefit this year.