Power Minister assures full cooperation to Maldives to promote clean energy projects

Last Updated 28 November 2020, 18:36 IST

Power and New & Renewable Energy Minister R K Singh on Saturday assured full cooperation to the Maldives in its efforts to promote renewable energy projects.

Singh emphasised that renewable energy (RE) is a must not only for the Island States but also for the world. The minister was speaking at the Country session of Maldives during the third Global Re-Invest, a statement by the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy said.

"This realisation has dawned on everybody that we need to reduce our carbon footprints to preserve the planet," he added.

He echoed the sentiments that Island States/territories are more vulnerable to global warming.

"India has also prioritised to have its Islands fully on green energy Islands. We have given a target to our Islands (Andaman & Nicobar Isalands, Lakshadweep) to become totally green, that means their energy needs should be met from Renewable Energy."

Singh also reiterated India as one of very few countries to have met its commitment of keeping climate change within 2 per cent.

He also said that India has installed about 136000mw of RE capacity with capacity addition of another 57000mw under implementation.

Singh also informed that India has a robust energy efficiency programme under which more than 11 million LED street lights have been installed, adding, “you will have to work very hard to find a bulb which is not LED.”

He also said reducing CO2 emission with the addition of more green energy resources high on priorities.

He also said that Maldives being a beautiful country need to maintain and enhance its beauty as an attractive tourist destination.

He, therefore said, it is absolutely essential that renewable energy is given centrality in Maldives.

Speaking about large RE capacity addition through open bids and open competition Indian RE sector, Singh said, "We have not had to invest, adding that the investments have come from across the world.

"We have a set up", he added, a mechanism to resolve issues, removing hurdles in project execution through a group in renewable energy ministry, payment security, separate/neutral body to decide if there are contract disputes.

All that has helped, he said.

The Minister further said that for us the environment is an article of faith. "Therefore we are taking steps to reduce our carbon Footprints,” he added.

Singh said that India's target is now to achieve 450GW RE capacity by 2030.

While speaking at the event , Minister Hussain Rasheed Hassan (ME), Government of Maldives, emphasised on their need to reduce oil import dependence.

He recognised the importance of Renewable Energy for his Island country which faces a major threat in terms of adverse climate changes.

He also elaborated the investor-friendly measures/policies taken to promote RE.

Since 2013, the Government of Maldives has been proactively pursuing renewable energy goals that support strengthening the ecology, as well as the economy.

Starting with the Maldives Energy Policy and Strategy 2016 that seeks to promote renewable energy in the country and encourage private sector renewable energy development as one of its nine key policies, all the way to the recent National Strategic Action Plan for the Maldives (2019-2023) (SAP), which includes a specific pillar for Clean Energy with renewable energy targets to increase the share of renewable energy by 20 percent by 2023.

The opportunity for scaling up renewable energy across the Maldives is immense as it can provide the government budgetary relief by saving millions of dollars each year, that is currently used for diesel imports and subsidy.

The signing of the 5 MW PPA (power purchase agreement ) under the World Bank Accelerating Sustainable Private Investments in Renewable Energy (ASPIRE) project is a historic moment in the renewable energy history of the Maldives.

The project is the first of its kind in scale for the Maldives and achieved a tariff of USD 10.9 cents.

This is one of the lowest tariffs for a Small Island Developing State (SIDS) like the Maldives and helps them gain the pole position in trying to achieve their RE goals.

Moving ahead, World Bank is working closely alongside the Government of Maldives through the upcoming Accelerating Renewable Energy Integration and Sustainable Energy (ARISE) project in achieving their dream for a fossil fuel free future.

(Published 28 November 2020, 18:36 IST)

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