India can use Australian expertise in rooftop solar: Piyush Goyal

The Australian expertise in scheduling and forecasting solar generation to enable grid integration would be welcomed by Indian companies, Power Minister Piyush Goyal said.

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Keen to tap Australia's rooftop solar expertise, Power Minister Piyush Goyal on Tuesday said there is a need for the technology transfer at affordable rates for efficient expansion of renewable energy in India.

"India can use Australian expertise in rooftop solar as almost a third of Australian homes in some states are using rooftop solar," Goyal said while speaking at a roundtable on 'Renewable Energy Challenges for Grid Integration' at the University of New South Wales (UNSW).

The Australian expertise in scheduling and forecasting solar generation to enable grid integration would be "welcomed by Indian companies", the minister said.

"It is crucial for the prices of renewable energy to be comparable to coal-based thermal power to be viable in India," he said.

While emphasising that the technology transfer needs to be affordable, Goyal said that the Australian technology can help in efficient renewable power and grid integration in India. The technology transfer should be through strong educational and research collaboration between Australian (UNSW) and Indian organisations like National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE).  

Goyal further said that in view of land availability challenges in India, renewable technologies which reduce land requirement would be welcome. He further said that cost challenges can be met through 'Make in India'.This will help in achieving the ideal combination of Indian manpower and Australian innovation.



Stating that India is witnessing a big expansion of renewable energy, New and Renewable Energy Joint Secretary Tarun Kapoor said, "India was running the world's largest renewable energy programme and was looking for technological expertise, operating experience and investments." This has provided a huge opportunity for global firms to operate at a large scale and provide cost competitive solutions.

He also highlighted that by March 2016 itself, India would bid out more than 18 gigawatts (GW) of solar capacity thus helping it move rapidly towards the aim of setting up 100 GW of solar capacity by 2022.

The roundtable was attended by Indian delegation consisting of officials of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Ministry of Coal as well as officials from NTPC, Coal India and other large renewable companies.

From the Australian side, it was attended by senior faculty of the UNSW and senior officials from the educational institutions, R&D organisations like CSIRO and corporates.  

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