16:50 GMT +323 July 2019
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    An Indian security personnel poses for media as he walks over rooftops covered in solar panels at the Solar Photovoltaic Power Plant, some 45kms from Amritsar. (File)

    India Views Solar, Renewable Power as Key to Energy Security

    © AFP 2019 / NARINDER NANU
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    Low-cost renewable power is central to India’s long-term energy security, Indian Minister of New and Renewable Energy Piyush Goyal said on Wednesday.

    New Delhi (Sputnik) — The solar energy sector has expanded at 370 percent in three years of the Modi government. Since the government took charge, solar power capacity had grown from 2,600 MW to 12,200 MW, producing 20 billion units of electricity, he said.

    Goyal, who also holds the power, mines and coal portfolios in the Indian cabinet, made the remark in an interview to an Indian business newspaper.

    India had relaxed norms to import more solar equipment in March, to be specific solar cells and modules, from China since domestic manufacturers could not keep up with the government's demand.

    "We are dependent on imports and China is our biggest supplier of solar cells and modules; and in some cases, the prices are much lower than what is being offered by domestic manufacturers," Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of State for the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, had then said.

    The demand for Chinese solar equipment continues despite the slump in the global solar market.

    In the interview, he dismissed views that power generated from renewable sources like wind, sun or water was harming conventional power generation.

    Goyal said the government is also working towards the greater use of electric cars. He said by 2030, electric cars will be sold and they will be more efficient and cheaper to run.

    On policy, the minister spoke extensively on reciprocity in trade. He said India will not allow foreign firms from countries, which bar Indian companies from investing in their countries, to do business in the country.

    "Either they open up for us, or we close down for them. India is not a market to be exploited and enjoyed when you protect your own market. Countries that do not allow our companies, we will not allow their companies," Goyal said.

     

     

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