Climate Parliament India has collaborated with three respected organisations for conducting studies on the “Renewable Energy Landscapes: Gaps and Opportunities” in the three states of Odisha, Karnataka and Maharashtra. The outcome of these studies, carried out by Ashden India Collective (Odisha), Center for Study of Science, Technology and Policy (Karnataka), Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (Maharashtra). In a meeting on 6th August 2014, the findings and recommendations were presented in front of a large group of experts and stakeholders, from the renewable energy sector in India. The meeting witnessed some important discussions and useful feedback was provided by the experts on the three reports.
Honourable Member of Rajya Sabha, Mr. J D Seelam inaugurated the meeting and stressed on the principle of ‘common but differentiated responsibility’ for combating climate change. He mentioned that developed countries have to play a major role in helping the developing countries to take initiatives for combating climate change. Further, he said that states can play a major role in accelerating renewable energy development in India, especially on the implementation side.
Mr. Phil Marker, Counsellor for Energy and Environment at the British High Commission, was also present at this occasion and gave the key note address. He highlighted the issue of immense renewable energy potential in India and the need to harness this potential. Giving the example of United Kingdom (UK), he highlighted the fact that countries receiving much lower levels of sunlight as compared to India have made major progress in the solar energy sector. He further said that UK has taken a remarkable initiative by drafting a roadmap to reduce its carbon emissions by 80%, through successive carbon budgets.
Mr. Alok Srivastava, Joint Secretary, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) also spoke during the event. He highlighted the fact that states need to play a major role in renewable energy development as maximum implementation takes place at the state level. He also mentioned that the institutional setup for the energy sector in states needs to be improved, so that renewable energy gets its due importance. Stressing on the need for separate Renewable Energy Departments in the state, he mentioned how renewable energy issues find the least priority in the list of tasks for the State Energy Departments. Mr. Srivastava also stated that it is important to focus on proper and full utilization of existing financial resources for the sector in India.
The results of the three studies were also presented to the Members of Legislative Assemblies (MLAs) from the Climate Parliament network in Indian states at a separate meeting. The meeting was attended by the legislators from the states of Karnataka, Odisha and Maharashtra. It was inaugurated by Mr. Kalikesh Singh Deo, honourable Member of the Lok Sabha. Mr. Deo talked about his experience of being in the Climate Parliament network for the last few years. He also highlighted the role that such a network can play at the state level. He stressed on the fact that state legislators and state level initiatives are necessary for augmenting the steps being taken at national level for renewable energy development. The MLAs took a keen interest in these presentations and also discussed several state specific issues with the experts. They also provided their queries, feedback and recommendations to the experts on these studies.