Steve Sawyer, Secretary General of Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), in an interview to OneWorld South Asia said that investment in renewable energy will provide better job opportunities to the youth.
OneWorld South Asia: How according to you the mission of Indian Renewable Energy Federation (IREF) will ensure rapid penetration of renewable energy in India?
Steve Sawyer: The aim of a platform like the IREF is to promote renewable energy and conserve the conventional sources of energy. This platform will strive to ensure that India emerges as a global leader. This can be realised with various industries forming a united front to achieve energy security in the country.
Moreover, it is vital that awareness be spread about various non-conventional sources of energy such as wind, tidal or geothermal for a systematic transition to a clean and sustainable energy economy. Green energy industry in India should put a united front to fight for an enabling environment.
OWSA: How do you think the green energy industry can overcome the challenge of high input costs?
Sawyer: With an apt use of its enormous labour force equipped with managerial skills guided by foreign experts, the country can easily overcome difficulties in achieving renewable energy targets.
Renewable sources of energy in today’s day and age are essential for conserving the environment because even though the initial costs are high, the maintenance in the long run is relatively low with a substantial output.
OWSA: How according to you investment in renewable energy would benefit India?
Sawyer: Investment in renewable energy can result into multiple benefits for India as the country is fast growing on the path of technological growth. But we also realize the unique position of India in the international arena and the need to strengthen it.
Investment in renewable energy will not only create more jobs in the manufacturing and the services sector but also provide better job opportunities to the youth. The various countries will be collaborating for a larger aim of holistic growth in India by bringing clean energy technology and better services.
OWSA: How crucial is global collaboration for making a meaningful progress in the field of renewable energy?
Sawyer: The 21st century is a global market and it is vital for the development of this arena that the benefits of the developed nation also are dispersed to the developing ones. In order to achieve this larger aim we want to make developing countries like India our focal point.
We have been successful in installing solar technology plants is China and wind energy mills in Africa. Developing countries are witnessing a huge boom in the wind energy. This progress has only been possible due to international support and the combined efforts of different governments. In the long run, renewable energy is the cost competitive way.
OWSA: How do you look at the South Asian region for further expanding the scope renewable energy?
Sawyer: The South Asian region comprises of diverse countries distinct in terms of culture and ethnicity. There is abundance of manual labour, resources and knowledge which we can be utilized for the benefits of the larger community.
However, there are varied political and economic differences which need to be dealt patiently and during a course of time to further expand the renewable energy sector.
We have reached out to the governments and through the combined efforts of civil society and the political forces, achieving new milestones in tapping renewable energy does not seem to be a far reality.