Australia offers to help India with rooftop solar plants

Brisbane, Feb 8 (IANS) Australia can help expand the spread of rooftop solar plants in India, Australia’s Oueensland state Minister for Energy Mark Bailey said on Tuesday.

According to India’s power ministry, Bailey told Power and New and Renewable Energy Minister Piyush Goyal at a meeting here that Queensland has the necessary expertise to help India expand rooftop solar penetration as three out of its 10 households have solar panels.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, Minister for Natural Resources Anthony Lynham also attended the meeting.

The Indian government has set a target of building 100 giga watt (GW) solar capacity by 2022.

Goyal is in Australia leading the Indian side at the ongoing India-Australia Energy Security Dialogue from February 8-11, focusing on sharing Canberra’s expertise in liquefied natural gas (LNG), renewable energy and clean coal technology.

“Australia’s strong track record in mine health and safety is world class and can be shared with India,” India’s power ministry cited Lynham as saying at the meeting.

In response, Goyal said: “India’s manpower and Australia’s technology can come together to combine the best of both worlds.”

Declaring Queensland’s willingness to export its expertise in mining, state’s Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said they were keen to ensure that the Great Barrier Reef (off Queensland) was not damaged in any way.

The Gautam Adani-led Adani Group’s proposed $16.5 billion project for developing the Carmichael coal mine and associated railway line and port in Queensland is currently held up owing to environmental litigations and delay in getting the mining lease.

The Adanis have also applied for setting up a large solar power project in the province.

On the first day of the dialogue on Monday, India and Australia decided to form a sub-group, composed of senior officials of government and industry from both sides, to prepare a roadmap to help provide cheap liquefied natural gas (LNG) for Indian power plants running below capacity due to lack of fuel availability.

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