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Tap solar harvesting to drive growth and jobs'

‘Tap solar harvesting to drive growth and jobs’(Via The Hindu Business Line)With a growing need to boost employment across the globe, ‘greening’ the

environment could provide a huge potential. The only way to achieve

sustainability is to speed up innovations and investment in R&D for cleaner

fuels and technologies.“The pursuit of green energy will unleash the biggest innovation in the

history of business,” says Dr Madhav Mehra, President, World Council for

Corporate Governance.According to him, the future of humanity lies in solarharvesting. Imagine

this: One per cent of sunlight received by the earth can meet the

humanity’s demand for power for another 20 years.With such a vast potential waiting to be tapped, the focus, he feels,

should be to make solar harvesting the main driver of growth and change.

“The Government could allocate funds for unemployed youth to take up solar

harvesting, and also give them benefits of entrepreneurial leadership,” he

says. Besides, every home should have a solar panel.With India’s crippling energy deficit, going aggressively for solar energy

could well be the answer to our ‘power’ crisis.The country’s installed generation capacity is 1,47,959 MW, points out Dr

Mehra, while that of China’s is about five times more. Renewable energy

generated in our country is about 8 per cent of our installed capacity.

“Our focus should be to increase it to 80 per cent,” he says.Low carbon

futureDr Mehra adds that the conclusion of a comprehensive global climate change

agreement to replace the Kyoto Protocol which expires in 2012 is essential.“If well designed, it will ensure the long-term competitiveness of Indian

business and unlock the potential of a low-carbon future. A robust

agreement will create a market for low-carbon technologies that could be

worth $1 trillion in the first five years of its implementation,” he says.Another significant source of energy could be bio-fuels such as

agricultural waste. With about 600 million tonnes of agricultural waste in

India, it is possible to produce cellulostic ethanol equivalent to 80,000

MW, “which is 60 per cent of the country’s installed capacity”, he says.

This means creating 30 million new jobs.“All we need to do is the technology to turn waste into power. Countries

like the US and Brazil have the technology,” says Dr Mehra.Handsome returnsIn this regard, Greenpeace’s ‘Energy Revolution’ scenarios show how making

additional investments in renewable energy would pay back handsomely.A global annual investment of $22 billion in clean power plants could

produce fuel cost savings of up to $202 billion a year, paying back the

investment 10 times over.The value of the renewable industry — worth $50 billion in 2006 — could

increase to $288 billion annually by 2030. Suzlon Energy is a great example

to quote in India, says Dr Mehra.For the very latest renewable energy jobs in India and globally please

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