In an attempt to give a boost to new and innovative technologies in the field of new and renewable energy applications,the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) organized a two-day “R&D Conclave on New and Renewable Energy-Prospects for Cross-Cutting Technologies” from 9-10th August, 2012 at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi.
The Minister for MNRE, Dr. Farooq Abdullah, while inaugurated the workshop said that the vision of Ministry of New and Renewable Energy is to develop new and renewable energy technologies, process, materials, components, sub-systems, product and services at par with international specifications, standards and performance parameters, and deploy such indigenously developed and manufactured products and services in furtherance of the national goals of energy security and energy independence. A large broad-spectrum programme covering the entire range of new and renewable energies is implemented in the country. He placed special emphasis on developing reliable storage technologies and doing directed research that would improve the lives of people.
Speaking on the need for going for research to cut costs, Dr.Chaidambaram, Principal Scientific Adviser to Government of India gave the example of polysilicon produced at economical cost will be critical to the development of solar power in India.
Shri B.K.Chaturvedi, Member (Energy), Planning Commission said that the Planning Commission is supporting faster development and deployment of renewable energy technologies in the country. The 11th Five Year Plan witnessed an impressive progress in research and development and deployment in renewable energy sector. It may be mentioned that MNRE has sponsored 169 R&D projects in the area of solar energy, bio-energy and hydrogen and fuel cells with a total outlay of about Rs.525 crore. He said that renewables contributed to nearly 14,660 MW power during the 11th Plan and they will become more important in future.
Shri Gireesh Pradhan, Secretary of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy expressed the view that research should be directed towards application and deployment. Only then will renewable energy improve the lives of people. He told the gathering that the outlay for R&D activities in the Ministry per year is presently around Rs.600 crore which is expected to be doubled in the 12th Five Year Plan.
The two-day Conclave was attended by eminent Scientist and Technologists from all over the country. In all, about nineteen Scientists presented the outcomes and results of their projects. The discussion during the session focused on solar photovoltaic and solar thermal, new fuels and bio-energy technologies and provided an insight into possible projects to be taken up in the 12th Plan.
The Conclave concluded with a Panel Discussion under the Chairmanship of Dr. R. Chidambaram, Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India. The panel included Dr. T. Ramasami, Secretary, Department of Science and Technology, Shri Gireesh B Pradhan, Secretary, MNRE, Prof. R. Natarajan, Former Chairman, AICTAE and Director, IIT Madras, Prof. Vikram Kumar, IIT Delhi and Prof. S. Srinivasa Murthy of IIT Madras.
The panelists commended the efforts of MNRE to promote R&D in new and renewable energy and the achievements thereof by the respective project Investigators. They mentioned that the workshop was timely and recommended that R&D efforts need to be scaled up along with industry`s involvement. Dr. R. Chidambaram, stressed that while directed research need to be given a priority, for innovation the basic research should also be encouraged. Since the storage of renewable energy is critical, hence, R&D in this area should be vigorously pursued. Secretary, MNRE in his concluding statement acknowledged that the two day R&D conclave provided an opportunity to all research professionals to share their experiences and exchange their views on the on-going R&D efforts. In view of the constraint of funds, the Secretary emphasized to prioritize the areas for directed research and partnership with industry.