West should help India on clean energy, says expert

West should help India on clean energy, says expert
In the backdrop of the ongoing UN Climate Summit (COP-21) at Paris, a British researcher and expert in the realm of energy storage and sustainability has said that in order to enable India to decarbonise and develop its energy resources efficiently, the developed countries must support it by sharing their expertise, and also help provide it with some financial support (in the form of funds).

Talking to Deccan Herald on the sidelines of the Symposium on Future Electricity Grids and Utilities here on Tuesday, Prof Phil Taylor — Director of the Institute for Sustainability at Newcastle University — said, “The West (the UK and the US) grew rich and developed themselves by burning coal, during the Industrial Revolution (18th-19th centuries). Presently, India is burning coal to satiate its energy needs, and the West is suggesting that the former cease doing so.”

He added, “It isn’t fair on the part of the developing world to stop India from burning coal. Instead, they must be realistic, just, and give the country time to find alternate solutions, and understand the costs and time-frame needed to decarbonise. They may also support India’s push to reduce its carbon footprint, and identify alternate sustainable energy solutions, through some expertise and financial assistance.” Taylor, who is in India to speak with government and industry agencies on various energy topics, said that while the ‘energy trilemma’ faced by Europe and the UK, and India, is similar, there are marked differences where the latter is concerned, and which must be addressed.

“In the UK, the trilemma primarily involves the ways to provide affordable energy, to maintain sustainability, and to ensure security of supply. In India, more than affordability of energy, the larger aspect revolves around accessibility of energy, with over 400 million citizens still without access to power,” Taylor said.

Another aspect that Taylor stressed on is in the area of energy security. “Considering that India’s natural gas pipeline passes through some volatile regions, India must seek to develop indigenous energy sources,” he said.

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