Aiming to bring changes to the power sector in the state, Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal on April 28 held a discussion with Indo-German Energy Programme (IGEN) officials. IGEN is German federal ministry for economic cooperation and development’s initiative for carrying out viable energy security programmes in developing countries.
Saying that providing stable power supply and reducing loss in transmission is a prime objective of the government, Sonowal stated that German expertise and technical knowhow in this regard would be of immense value for ensuring electrification at rural areas of the state. He said that revitalising the power sector would also give momentum to the growth of industrial sector and help in economic development of the state.
Explaining the functioning model of IGEN, director of Indo-German Energy Program Winfried Damm told that the India now consumes more than 6,600 terawatt-hours (TWh) of energy per year, but its per capita electricity consumption of around 1,000 kWh, is less than one seventh of that of industrialised countries. This creates considerable challenges in all areas of society and in rural and urban regions.
For countering these issues, Damm suggested saving energy along the entire supply chain and in applications and production, thereby optimising resource use and reducing costs, and introducing renewable energy sources on a large scale and integrating these into the power grids so as to diversify the energy source mix.
Saying that IGEN is carrying out programmes in 23 cities of 17 states in India currently, Damm said that main objective of the programme is to reduce carbon emission and thereby offset global warming.
The IGEN programme would utilise their vast experiences in managing power to help the state government in formulating policy, programme, guidelines and standards for energy sector, supply clean cooking energy, provide energy in agricultural sector, rural electrification, maintaining energy efficiency, renewable energy generation and transmission among others.
Sonowal sought cooperation from the programme officials to revolutionise the state’s rural electricity sector and for brining major industries to the state without harming the environment by opting for renewable energy sources.
IGEN also offered to set up one photovoltaic thermal project at Guwahati for demonstrating the effectiveness of the plant to which chief minister readily agreed.