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India should take initiatives to form league like OPEC: Narendra Modi

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As coal and gas are becoming scarcer and dearer, Gujarat Chief Minister today said India should take initiatives towards forming a league of nations on the line of OPEC for solar power.

"There are different league of nations like OPEC and others. A league should be formed among the nations which get more sun rays. India should play a prominent role into the formation of such a league and step up its R&D to lead those nations," Narendra Modi said after dedicating a 600-MW solar power park to the nation here.

The Organisation of Oil Exporting Countries (OPEC) is an industry association for the oil and gas sector, which often dictates terms for the global oil prices.

Modi said he has already spoken to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the need for forming such an association of countries and taking initiatives.

Emphasising the need for solar power in the face of rising coal and gas prices, he said, "It is not too far when all have to look back to solar power. Just few days back, we have seen because of coal shortage, many generation plants were to be kept shut. The price of coal will go only up further in the coming days".

"It is not more than 20-30 years, when the world will face a similar situation. There will be no gas, no coal. People will look back at Gujarat," he said, amidst thundering applauds among the 5,000-odd people gathered at the venue.

The Gujarat government had announced its solar policy in 2009, ahead of such a policy announcement by the Centre. Now, the state has 605 MW installation capacity compared to 200-odd MW by the rest of India.

Modi said the state is stepping up its solar power movement through a programme under which tiny plants would be installed in on the household, which would not only ensure clean energy, but reduce the usage of thermal power using coal.

"Gandhinagar already has multiple installations of solar rooftop systems ranging from 1 kilowatt (kW) to 150 kW at more than 150 locations, aggregating to a capacity of 1.39 MW," he said, adding that similar solar rooftop programmes will be extended to more cities like Mehsana, Bhavnagar, Rajkot, Surat and Vadodara in the near future.

Gujarat, he said, has already met its target of 600 MW for 2014 and would move ahead with the same rigour and momentum for deployment of solar power projects and become a global solar hub.

"We are now looking forward to its next solar policy in the near future to support solar power deployment as well as now attract investments in the solar manufacturing industry," he said.

The solar park, the biggest of its kind in Asia, has been set up on 5,000 acres of barren land and has a total capacity to host a total of 500 MW.

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