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Afghan team showcases numerous investment opportunities in renewable energy space

New Delhi, Aug. 6 : Afghan Minister for Energy and Water, Ali Ahmad Osmani, today said energy security is a necessity for regional stability and to ensure economic and social growth of an economy.

With industrialization and development, environment was under pressure, hence there is a need to utilize renewables to produce energy which will eventually fuel the industry.

Addressing the ‘India-Afghanistan Renewable Energy Summit’ organized by FICCI in collaboration with the Afghanistan Ministry of Energy and Water and Afghanistan Renewable Energy Union (AREU), the Indian Embassy in Kabul and UASID, Afghanistan, Osmani said that it was necessary to protect environment and reduce emission of greenhouse gases.

He added that Afghanistan had tremendous potential to produce energy from different clean sources and the country’s doors were open for international investors to explore opportunities in this space.

Emphasizing the importance of India-Afghanistan relationship, he said that after going back to his country, he would suggest that the name of Salma Dam should be rechristened to ‘Afghan-India Friendship Dam’ to mark the special relationship enjoyed by the two nations.

He added that the business delegation from Afghanistan hoped to deliberate on ideas thrown up during the summit and looked forward to business match-making with Indian investors in the area of renewables.

Engineer Nasir Ahmad Durrani, Minister of Rural and Rehabilitation and Development of Afghanistan, said that access to electricity improves quality of life and lack of electricity had emerged as one of the biggest challenges for Afghanistan’s economic and social development.

Energy was vital to power the Afghan industry which would in turn lead to employment and prosperity. Hence, Afghanistan was looking forward to India for support to meet its energy needs. Engineer Durrani added that off grid energy was feasible and cost effective and there were opportunities for Indian companies to establish their capabilities in Afghanistan.

Devin Narang, Managing Director, Sindicatum Sustainable Resources, and Chairman, FICCI Bio Energy Task Force, FICCI, said that there are many companies worldwide essentially in the oil, gas, coal and cement sectors that are responsible for two-thirds of the man-made emissions.

These companies must be the target for the Climate Change Movement. It is important that the cost of capital for these companies be increased and they are priced out. This will help mobilize the 100 trillion pounds for clean energy – thus instating a clean energy based lifestyle and clean energy fuelled future.

He stated that Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, has articulated the future of renewable as “moving from megawatt to gigawatt”.

The Government of India has laid high focus on clean energy development and deployment and has set an ambitious target of 100,000 MW Renewable Energy installations in next five years, involving investments of about Rs. 2 lakh crore. He added that India had the technology, entrepreneurship and willingness to share its knowledge with Afghanistan for propelling its growth.

Abdul Razique Samadi, CEO, Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat (DABS), said that Afghanistan had created an investor-friendly environment and was earnestly inviting the Indian players to invest the country’s renewable energy sector. Afghanistan aims to take up the level of electrification to 65 percent from the present 33 percent in the next five years.

“This can be achieved only when Afghanistan, instead of importing its energy requirements from neighboring countries, is able to bring technology for energy generation to the country. In this endeavor, Afghanistan looks to India for its continued support,” he added.

Kabul Khan Tadbir, Chairman, Afghanistan Renewable Energy Union (AREU), said that the delegation from Afghanistan was visiting India with the aim of exhibiting attractive investments prospects in the country and also giving a glimpse of opportunities that were ready to be explored in the renewable energy space.

He added that the country enjoyed 300 days of sunlight and abundance of wind, air and water, which could be harnessed with the help of technology to generate clean energy to boost economic and industrial prospects of Afghanistan.

Sheila Sudhakaran, Assistant Secretary General, FICCI, said that India understands the importance of generating renewable energy. Indian and Afghan governments were encouraging the industry on both sides to explore various spheres for cooperation and collaboration.

She added that FICCI was committed to help in every way to enable Afghanistan to meet its energy requirements.

Ambassador of India to Afghanistan, Amar Sinha, and Shaida Mohammad Abdali, Ambassador of Afghanistan to India, were also present on the dasi. (ANI)