Piyush Goyal, Minister of Railways and Commerce & Industry at the launch of ‘Powering Livelihoods’, an initiative by CEEW and Villgro Innovations Foundation said Atmanirbhar Bharat can get boost only with Innovations in renewable energy:
The minister echoing government’s vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat, stated that India should contend for a leadership role in global renewable power initiatives and connect the villages as well in this futuristic programme. He also highlighted that a lot of innovations are coming up in the renewable energy space.
Goyal at the launch said that the mission for Railways is to be 100% electrified by 2022. “By 2030, we will be a net zero carbon emitter. Today we are transporting 1.2 bn tonnes of freight. We hope that this will go up to 2.2 bn tonnes in the next 5 years and will be the world’s first large railway of this dimension.”
He added “There is a lot of surplus land and land across tracks to generate 20 GW of Made in India solar equipment or wind equipment in use. This will give us 20 GW production capacity of renewable energy and enough kilowatt hours to power our entire railway,” he stated.
The minister added that cold storage solutions with interplay of renewable energy can be of immense help especially in the peak hours for Railways.
Goyal spoke about the plans of the government to ensure water reached every home by 2024.
He added “RO plants will become the labour of the future. Connecting them with renewable energy to get clean drinking and cooking water is the way forward. Many areas have shortage of water. For example Tamil Nadu. Desalination of plants will be of immense help – not only does it make water available but it is also clean water.”
The virtual launch was also attended by Damilola Ogunbiyi, CEO and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All, and Co-Chair of UN-Energy; and Rajiv Kumar, Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog, among others.
The Rs 22 crore initiative provides capital and technical support to Indian enterprises working on clean energy-based livelihoods solutions.
It also recently offered a cumulative emergency funding of Rs 1 crore to six selected enterprises which could help them tide over the current crises caused by Covid-19.
“Under Powering Livelihoods, we will help enterprises in the clean energy-based livelihoods sector to get better support from financiers, investors and policymakers. This will help them scale up and achieve meaningful impact,”said Abhishek Jain, who is leading the initiative at CEEW.
More than 40 lakh microenterprises in India pointed out that lack of electricity is the top bottleneck to their business.
While about 60 clean energy innovations for livelihoods exist, their deployment on the ground is limited to hundreds, at best.