India is committed to transform the energy landscape of the country with significant clean energy share, said Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Science & Technology, Environment, Forest & Climate Change and Earth Sciences in his greeting speech on the occasion of Launch Ceremony of Mission Innovation Challenge on Smart Grids in Beijing today. Grid integration, stability and robustness are the foremost issues which need to be addressed for increasing the share of clean energy. The Minister congratulated all the Mission Innovation participant countries, who have come forward and decided to work together to take on this challenge collectively, engaging and involving, stake holders from industries, utilities, scientific institutions and research laboratories.
Dr. Harshvardhan said that under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, India has mounted initiative to promote global actions for clean energy. President of France and Prime Minister of India in the presence of UN Secretary General launched International Solar Alliance (ISA) in November 2015 to provide dedicated platform for cooperation among solar resource rich countries beween ‘Tropic of Cancer’ and ‘Tropic of Capricorn’. Government of India has committed to a corpus fund of more than US $ 25 million besides providing space and secretariat expenses for initial 5 years. 31 countries have already joined ISA.
India was also one of the three countries, which took initiative in sowing the seed of ‘Mission Innovation’. These initial efforts culminated into 20 countries joining in November 2015 to launch Mission Innovation. All the MI countries bring significant research prowess and resources in this global endeavour. Community of Mission Innovation has now enlarged to 23 countries and includes European Union.
The laudable objectives of Mission Innovation needed instruments to realise the loftier goals. The Minister complimented sub-group on Action and Joint Research, who developed innovation challenges to convert these global calls into action. Innovation challenges cover entire spectrum of research, development and demonstration right from early stage research need assessment to technology demonstration. The spectrum of innovation challenges demonstrates the leading themes on which R&D need to be focussed for affordable innovation.
He expressed his happiness that innovation challenge on smart grids has developed its work programme smartly right from the early stage. This is the first MI team to organise the deep dive workshop. Development of the work plan as well as organisation of this workshop was done jointly by 3 leading research institutions and co-leads from each of the lead countries namely China, Italy and India. All the 20 participating countries have made significant contributions in terms of development of the status reports and identification of research and development priorities. International agencies such as IEA, IRENA, ISGAN, WEF etc. have further strengthened the programme .
Under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, India’s plan of setting up 175 GW renewable power capacity by the end of 2022 is fully matched with tremendous progress on the ground. During the last year alone, the capacity addition of solar energy was more than the cumulative capacities set up till 2015 and our renewable energy capacity has leapfrogged to more than 52 GW. By 2030, non fossil energy sources will make up 40 percent of installed capacity.
India has vibrant national R&D infrastructure with R&D institutions, several universities, technical institutions, public sector undertakings and industries conducting research funded by Ministry of Power, Renewable Energy and Science & Technology. India has funded around US $ 50 million towards national as well as bilateral programmes with Netherlands, UK and US. India has also launched initiatives for renewable forecasting and scheduling, storage technologies, wide area grid measurement, demand response pilots etc. Monitoring, protection and control of grids, forecasting of generation and loads, seamless two way grid operations, systems for large data management, robust and secure communication technologies, devices and components for better functionality ,demand side management and storage, etc are important issues for larger as well as micro grids.
The Minister shared India’s report on research, development and demonstration on smart grids to further activities of this challenge and informed that India recently organised 1st MI India workshop of more than 40 top experts in the country representing all stakeholders at IIT- Delhi to identify R&D priorities for collaboration under Mission Innovation. He announced MI-India Funding Opportunity Announcement on these R&D priorities with an investment of US$5 million by Government of India.
He expressed hope that the collective endeavours would enable to realise the vision of an affordable, reliable future smart grids powered by decentralised energy sources which will be robust and suitable in diverse geographic conditions and would be able to develop technological solutions to make world a cleaner place.