Gadkari Promotes Investment in Indian RE Sector at Indo-US Summit 2021

At the Indo-US Partnership Vision Summit 2021, organised by IMC Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Friday, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari called the Indo-US partnership ‘the most important partnership of the 21 century’. Speaking about the growing confidence between India and the US, he said that all outstanding trade issues would be resolved soon, and that the two countries have reached principle agreement in the area of defence, security, energy and trade. Gadkari, who holds the MSME and road and transport portfolios, laid special emphasis on the expanding renewable energy sector in India and its implications for American investors.

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The minister assured his co-panelists that in accordance with the Paris Agreement, the GoI was working towards reducing carbon emissions by 30-35% by 2030, and taking serious steps to increase the share of renewable energy to 450 MW by the same year. Highlighting the country’s surplus solar energy potential, he said that India had signed the International Solar Alliance to promote solar energy’s development. He said that the use of solar power was being made mandatory for all toll plazas, and added, “There is a lot of potential in solar energy. India is the fastest-growing economy, the internal rate of return is very good, and you will get good returns as compared with the US, I’m confident that you will get at least two times more returns from investment in India.”

He explained that the government was focusing on the diversification of agriculture towards the energy and power sectors, encouraging the use of alternative fuels- compressed biogas, ethanol, methanol, LNG, CNG, etc. Encouragement is also being given for construction fuel equipments to be run on bio fuels and to this end, a job machine that runs on bio CNG was recently launched. Gadkari recounted the recent unveiling of the first ever agricultural tractor which runs on bio CNG, and revealed that he would soon a launch a tractor which runs 100% on electricity. “We are laying emphasis on hydrogen fuel cell battery technology,” the minister said. He added that the government was collaborating with IITs and other the research institutes to put serious efforts towards the development of green hydrogen fuel infrastructure. Gadkari also said that his focus was on making ethanol fuel available across the country, with plans for a 20% increase in its production by 2025.

Mr. Gadkari encouraged US companies to capitalise on the emerging opportunities in airports, metro rail, railway stations, and more importantly, electric public transport in India. While pointing out that India’s current automobile industry stands at Rs 7 lakh crore, he added, “In the next five years, I want to make India the number one hub of automobile manufacturing.” His aims include running all public buses, two-wheeler and three-wheeler vehicles on electricity in the future. The minister stated that while India is already making 81% lithium ion batteries, research endeavours to explore possibilities in aluminium ion, zinc ion, steel ion, and sodium ion, are also underway. He reminded the co-panelists that the National Mission for Electric Mobility Plan 2020, launched last year, will invest INR 140 billion in the next 8 years for the development of electric infrastructure. According to him, the Indian EV market will be worth INR 45 lakh crore if the 2030 targets are achieved which require an investment of INR 12.50 lakh crore.

The minister utilised the summit as an opportunity to speak about the huge potential for US investment in the Indian power sector, especially the green energy segment, at great length.

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Soumya Duggal

Soumya is a master's degree holder in English, with a passion for writing. It's an interest she has directed towards environmental writing recently, with a special emphasis on the progress being made in renewable energy.

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