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Government to provide 24 hours electricity to all households in the country in the next 5 years, says Prime Minister

New Delhi: October 9,2012

Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh today said the government aims to provide 24x7 electricity to all households in the country and affordable access to electricity in the next 5 years. One million households in India are now using decentralized solar energy to meet their lighting energy needs, said the Prime Minister. Government is also striving to light up around 20 million rural households with solar home lighting by 2022. Renewable energy technologies provide probably the most sustainable and economic options for energy access. At present renewable power represents about 12 per cent of the total installed generating capacity in India. The Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission, launched under the aegis of India’s National Action Plan on Climate Change aims to install 20 Gigawatt of grid connected solar power by 2022. The links between access to energy and the various Millennium Development Goals are now well established and they are well documented. Meeting these goals that are fundamental to an existence of minimum dignity and well being all over the world requires access to affordable energy. The Prime Minister said this while inaugurating “International Seminar on Energy Access” today at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Farooq Abdullah, Minister of New and Renewable Energy mentioned that today renewable energy is competent to meet the energy requirement in rural areas and supplementing the urban energy needs. Energy access is an issue of over arching importance and is closely related to poverty, development, gender disparity, environment, health and also sustainability. Over three billion people in developing countries today rely on traditional biomass for cooking and heating; about one and a half billion people are without electricity. Dr. Farooq Abdullah said the provision of basic energy services to these energy-poor citizens is the key challenge our world is facing today. Lack of access to energy cripples the productive capacity of people and traps them in a downward spiral of want, deprivation and poverty. Energy access is crucial to inclusive and sustainable economic growth. Renewable energy can be an excellent tool in providing energy access. With over 400 million citizens who lack access to modern forms of energy, we have one of the largest decentralized, off-grid renewable energy programmes in the world. In fact, our local renewable energy based initiatives have already started making a profound impact on the lives of millions in India. Solar home lighting systems and solar powered micro-grids are lighting millions of Indian homes every night. Family size biogas plants provide clean and efficient cooking energy in the villages. Energy access is an issue of over arching importance and is closely related to poverty, development, gender disparity, environment, health and also sustainability. Over three billion people in developing countries today rely on traditional biomass for cooking and heating; about one and a half billion people are without electricity. The provision of basic energy services to these energy-poor citizens is the key challenge our world is facing today. Lack of access to energy cripples the productive capacity of people and traps them in a downward spiral of want, deprivation and poverty. Energy access is crucial to inclusive and sustainable economic growth.

The United Nations General Assembly has designated 2012 as the “International year of Sustainable Energy for All” and the 2 days seminar is organized in recognition of the importance of energy access for sustainable economic development and supporting achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. The Government of India, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy along with other stakeholders – NGOs, civil society organizations and state governments is promoting energy access for sustainable economic development.

About 30 countries are participating of which 26 Ministers in the ministerial level delegation included the Prime Minister of Guiana, Deputy Prime Minister of Mauritius from about 26 countries. Over 100 foreign participants including senior Government functionaries High level policy/decision makers, International Financial Institutions, Banks/ Financial Services Providers from participating countries, UN bodies/organizations, international players and NGOs etc are attending the event. The major participating Country/Ministerial delegation includes Afghanistan, Algeria, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burkina Faso, Canada, Cape Verde, Congo, Fiji, Georgia, Guatemala, Guyana, Iran, Iraq, Kenya, Maldives, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Panama, Seychelles, South Africa, Suriname, Tanzania, Uzbekistan, Yamen & Zambia.

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