"ISA Trillion Dollar Opportunity to serve Humanity" Shri Piyush Goyal

"ISA Trillion Dollar Opportunity to serve Humanity" Shri Piyush Goyal

"The International Solar Alliance (ISA) is a trillion dollar opportunity to serve humanity and those in the dark," said Shri Piyush Goyal, Minister of State (IC) of Power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy in New York today. The Minister was speaking at the Roundtable on International Solar Alliance -the Trillion Dollar Opportunity- organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Terrawatt Initiative (TWI) under the aegis of the International Solar Alliance

"India has launched this initiative as an obligation towards the larger humanity as an article of faith, " said Shri Goyal. He further added that for India, this is not being dictated by external exigencies. He called upon stakeholders beyond governments to make this initiative a success.

The ISA which comprises 121 countries that lie partially or fully between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn is intended to create a platform for larger collaboration for technology, research and development and capacity building. "This is about improving the quality of life of large number of people who are still grappling with problems of energy and accessibility at affordable prices," the Minister said.

The Global Solar Council also committed to creating 25 million jobs in the solar space among the ISA countries. Similar commitments of dedicating a part of their funding portfolio to renewables was given by GIIC, a federation of pension funds.

Speaking earlier at the session, Mr Sumant Sinha, Chairman, CII Special Task Force on Solar said, "The efforts of the governments in the ISA countries will have to matched with efforts by the business community through collaborative efforts."

Ms Isabelle Kocher, Chairperson, TWI, delivered the welcome address and urged stakeholders to work towards making solar accessible through technology and cheap sustainable finance. 


India gets ‘I led the way’ to the US
Capitalising on the tag line, ‘I led the way’, that Energy Efficiency Services limited (EESL) stands for, this government owned company is now gearing up to set up its 21st overseas office in New York in the near future. “We will go back by the weekend and my office will get cracking with the EESL on Monday to set the ball rolling on EESL’s US chapter. There was huge enthusiasm shown by the Green Bank and the Energy Council of the US earlier in the day during my meetings with them,” said Shri Piyush Goyal, Union Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal and New and Renewable Energy. He was speaking at the Renewable Energy Investors Roundtable co-hosted by the Confederation of Indian Industry and the US India Business Council in New York on Thursday.

In what could be described in cricket analogy as a reverse sweep, India is taking its poster boy EESL to the US to share innovative ways of mainstreaming energy efficiency primarily on the back of economies of scale and transparent procurement. “The pricing of LED bulbs in India has been a game changer with prices falling by over 83 per cent in one year.” EESL has already completed distribution of 9 crore LED bulbs under its Domestic Efficient Lighting Program. Responding to investors queries on the volatility of the exchange rate and the need to address the hedging issue, the Minister said, “I am open to an earlier proposal of linking the debt to a basket of currencies including the USD, the JPY or even options like inflation linked tariffs to cover hedging risk.” He, however, pointed out that the Indian Rupee has been relatively strong over a long term and will be one of the stronger currencies given India’s growth potential.

In addition to the need to address hedging currency volatility in tariffs, Shri Goyal further said, the other important issues that were discussed during the course of his visit to the UK and US included the need for a stable and simplified policy and regulatory regime; standardized PPAs and equipment standardization.

Striking an optimistic note, Shri Goyal also projected India’s growth to be in double digits by next year if not this fiscal itself. The caveat being that India needs to get a strong monsoon.

Calling upon gas producers to explore investment opportunities in the Indian market, the Minister said, “India is willing to take gas for its gas based power projects and sign long term contracts of 10-15 years but this can be done at a fixed price of $5 per mmbtu as the power sector is a price sensitive sector in the country. With about 28 GW of stranded gas assets in the country, this is a huge and promising market as long as the prices are right and given the current Baltic index, I believe that this is a viable proposition.” He further added that India is currently exploring all means of gasification including coal bed methane.

Talking about another investment opportunity, the Make in India initiative, Shri Goyal said, “To incentivize manufacturing in solar, the government is exploring options of long term power contracts and long term land lease contracts for solar manufacturers.”

Speaking about how most developed economies are seeing energy demand flatten out, he emphasized that it is important for these countries to cut down waste. Reiterating India’s position for just climate action, the Minister reemphasized that Indians and India needs to get their chance to develop. “India cannot be held responsible for the emissions although India believes in being a responsible global citizen and doing its part.” 


Major Highlights of Shri Piyush Goyal’s Engagements in New York

Addresses Meeting of American Investors and Developers in the Field of Renewable Energy

Shri Piyush Goyal, Union Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal and New & Renewable Energy is currently visiting U.S.A. (from 20 to 22April) to participate in the launch of programmes under International Solar Alliance today at the United Nations, New York. The Minister is accompanied by an official delegation which included Secretary, Ministry of New & Renewable Energy and Joint Secretary, Ministry of New & Renewable Energy.

On 21st April, the Minister met with Mr. Stephen Schwarzian, Chairman, CEO & Co-Founder, Blackstone Group over lunch and discussed investment opportunities in India and the transparent policy regime that the Government under Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has ushered in. Shri Goyal also held meetings with Mr. Jack Kutner, CEO Big Belly, Mr. Richard Kauffman, Chairman of Energy and Finance, Office of the Governor of New York, Mr. Saurabh Agarwal of Warburg Pincus and Mr. Alfred Griffin, President of the New York Green Bank. The Minister also addressed a meeting of large number of American investors and developers in the field of Renewable Energy which was jointly organized by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and US-India Business Council (USIBC) in the evening. Earlier the Minister had held interactions with print and electronic media at the Consulate General of India, New York.

In his forward looking discussions with the business dignitaries, Shri Goyal highlighted the achievements of the Government and said the Government is committed to implement the promises made by the Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. He briefed about various steps undertaken by the Government to improve energy access, rapid scale up of renewable energy, enhancing grid reliability, integration of renewable in the grid and the massive opportunity presented by the untapped demand in the Indian market. The Minister outlined the steps being taken to improve the contractual/counter-party risk framework which is critical to all investors and about initiatives such as greening the grid, National Solar Mission, LED programme for enhancing energy efficiency. Speaking on Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana (UDAY), the Minister stressed upon the steps being taken to bring a drastic change in India’s power sector that can take India to double digit growth trajectory in the economy. He also mentioned that India already has surplus power and demand stimulation through UDAY coupled with the growth in the Indian economy will quadruple electricity consumption by 2030.
Shri Goyal also stressed that the Government is taking necessary actions to sustain the current economic growth of India and continue with major initiatives that are taken by the Government to make it more business friendly. He also expressed hope that given the prediction of good monsoon this year, the country may see double digit growth by end of 2016-17 financial year itself. He also highlighted the need of India to have low cost, long tenor finance for his ambitious renewable energy scale of and requested the investors to look at India as an option for investment. He urged investors to take advantage of three Ds – democracy, demography and demand – which India provided.  

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