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India calls for cooperation with Africa in solar energy

India has offered to expand and strengthen its cooperation with the African countries in the field of Renewable Energy. Speaking at the IRENA-Africa High Level Consultative Forum meeting in Abu Dhabi on Accelerating Renewable Energy Uptake for Africa’s Sustainable Development, Minister of New and Renewable Energy Dr. Farooq Abdullah today said that India is already assisting African countries for electrification of villages through solar energy and aims to set up 40 solar charging stations and 40 biomass gasifiers.

Emphasizing the need for building up human and institutional capacities, the Minister said that India has established many institutes which have tailor-made training programmes in various areas of Renewable Energy. He called upon the African countries to sponsor suitable number of their nationals to these courses so that India could assist in their training and capacity building.

The Minister said that India is ready to share its experience, knowledge and technology in the field of Renewable Energy with the African countries. He said that at the recently concluded 2nd Africa-India Forum Summit held at Addis Ababa, Indian Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh had announced an offer of 5 billion US dollars for the next three years under lines of credit and 700 million US dollars as assistance to help Africa achieve its development goals.

As part of these efforts Dr. Abdullah announced over 250 training positions on Rural Electrification, Small Hydropower, Solar Energy and Wind energy for African learners and professionals. He said that India is ready to depute experts to Africa for conducting dedicated training courses in the above areas and also assist in conducting Wind Energy Resource Assessment studies.

Outlining India’s achievements in the field of renewable energy, Dr. Abdullah said that India has an installed base of 20,000 MW of Renewable Energy which it aims to increase to 70,000 MW in the next ten years. He also dwelt on India’s National Solar Mission which he described as one of the most ambitious of its kind in the world.

 He also outlined India’s success in providing energy access through decentralized energy sources and explained how small stand alone solar and biomass based systems are being used to provide energy to some of the farthest and remotest corners of India. Dr. Abdullah invited the ministers from the other countries present in the conference to visit India and see firsthand the progress made by India in delivering energy through renewable sources.

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