New Delhi: India can reduce its pollution by over 40 percent by not using fossil fuels like petrol and diesel, while the country imports crude oil worth Rs 16 lakh crore every year, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said. "We can reduce 40 per cent pollution by not using fossil fuels like petrol and diesel," Gadkari said addressing Green Urja Conclave organised by Confederation of Renewable Energy Service Professionals and Industries (CRESPAI) in association with IIT-Delhi, IIT-Ropar and University of Delhi here.
He said,"We import fossil fuels worth Rs 16 lakh crore every year. It poses a big economic challenge for us. It also causes pollution. Besides, we also import coal worth Rs 12 lakh crore. We need to reduce our new technologies and improvise those also."
He emphasised on the importance of institutions like Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) for bringing new technology for promoting clean and green energy. He opined that the new technology should be need-based, economically viable and the raw material for it should be available. He highlighted that India is targeting 500 GW of renewable power generation capacity by 2030 and that the renewable energy installed capacity is at 172 GW in the country and India is at the fourth position in the world in terms of clean energy capacity. "Our total power basket has 38 percent share of solar energy," he pointed out. Solar power cost came down to Rs 2.60 per unit while other green energy costs Rs 6.5 per unit, he pointed out.
"State government discoms (utilities which distribute and generate power) have a loss of Rs 16 lakh crore at present. They are following a good policy -- more generation more losses, no generation, no losses," he said. It is the right approach that they (state utilities) want to reduce their cost by having more proportion of solar power in their supplies, he opined.
"But we need to promote biomass-based energy in the country," he stated. About promoting nuclear energy in the country he said that India has scarce uranium and thus the nation has to develop thorium- based nuclear energy projects here. He stressed on the role of institutions like IIT for promoting green energy. Green energy refers to energy produced from bio-mass, bio-gas, ethanol, methanol etc.