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Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj's Address at the Inaugural...
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Ambassador’s Address at the Inaugural Session of the ITEC Training Program on Renewable Energy
Technologies, 26 April 2021.

  • Director NTPC, Colleagues from MEA, 
  • I am indeed pleased to address the inaugural session of the ITEC pro-bono training program on Renewable Energy Technologies. The online mode for this training is very appropriate, given present times, and given the     focus on Renewable Energy and the need to reduce our carbon footprint.
  • I would like to make two main points - one, India’s own commitment to renewable energy and two, how Bhutan, blessed with abundant renewable  resources like water, wind and sunlight can benefit from the development of the renewable energy sector.
  • As a climate-responsible developing country, India has been at the forefront of the fight against climate change. To adapt to the energy requirement of 1.3 billion people, India is undertaking action at an unprecedented scale and speed. Our ambitious renewable energy target of 450 Gigawatts by 2030  is reflective of our commitment.  As well, despite our development challenges, we have taken many bold steps on clean energy, energy efficiency,        afforestation and bio-diversity. That is why we are among the few countries whose NDCs are 2-degree-Celsius    We are also spearheading two key global     initiatives, the International Solar Alliance and the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure. The  objective of the International Solar Alliance is to work for efficient consumption of Solar Energy to reduce        dependence on fossil fuels. The Alliance already includes 124 member states of the United Nations. Bhutan, as I am told, is at a fairly advanced stage of participation in the Alliance and is minded to join it in due course.  As for the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure, Bhutan is a founding member.
  • My second point: Bhutan and India share a stellar cooperation in Hydroelectric Power Generation. Starting from the commissioning of  the Chukha Hydroelectric Power Project in 1986, today Bhutan’s Hydro Power   Generation has increased to 2,236 MW. In 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic had badly hit all sectors of Bhutan’s economy, Bhutan exported Hydropower worth more than Rs. 27 billion and the sector accounted for about 12% of the GDP of Bhutan. This win-win                cooperation has helped in the development of  local        industries and improved the living standards of the     people in the region.  With the Kholongchhu HEP in Eastern Bhutan and the Punatsangchhu - 1 and 2 in the pipeline, the future of Bhutan-India Hydro cooperation looks promising.
  • Looking ahead, the 21st Century Economic Roadmap of Bhutan lays emphasis on the development of renewable energy  technologies such as solar PV (photovoltaic), wind and  bio-energy to diversify the energy mix and meet the rising power demand.  At present, two Wind Turbines are operational in the Wangdue district of Bhutan, pilot projects for the development of Solar  Energy Generation are also underway in Bhutan.

      To conclude, I will reiterate that India stands resolute in supporting Bhutan, in the development of renewable      energy generation,  in keeping with Bhutan’s needs,    priorities and aspirations and of course her unique      philosophy of Gross National Happiness. You will all agree that Climate Change requires concerted action,  and in this, the development of Renewable Energy     Technologies is the need of the hour.  As Prime Minister Narendra Modi has recently said: “while people may be used to    having Plan A and Plan B,  there is no Planet B”.

Thank you,

Tashi Delek!

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