While inaugurating the 151MW Neemuch solar power plant in Madhya Pradesh, India, presidential candidate, Narendra Modi called for India to utilise solar energy to empower its citizens.

Modi, currently the chief minister of Gujarat, the leading solar capacity state and first state to introduce net metering, called for India to become energy self sufficient by using its own natural resources, such as solar, to provide its energy.

Modi is also the leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party (translates as ‘Common Man Party’), and is currently running for president in elections for the 16th Lok Sabha (parliament).

Modi reiterated at the inauguration, as part of his campaign in the upcoming elections, the use of solar energy generation to empower the citizens of India and mitigate corruption in the country.

He called for government focus on energy development, detailing the use of hydro in the Himalayas, for India to utilise its biomass potential and for wind and solar installations in open land resources. 

He also warned of the economic dangers of relying on policies to import coal.

On Modi’s official Facebook page he said the Neemuch solar power plant is “impressive” development, and mentioned his policy of “the seven pillars of energy hydro, thermal, gas, solar, wind, biomass and nuclear, can make India self reliant in energy sector”.

The Neemuch project was developed by Welspun Group. Spanning 800 acres and costing an estimated INR855 crore, construction began on the project eight months ago.

Now complete the project will power 600,000 houses, doubling the state of Madhya Pradesh’s installed solar capacity.

Madhya Pradesh’s state’s principal secretary for new and renewable energy, Shri Sudhi Ranjan Mohanty, plans 2,600MW by June 2015, to be generated through renewable sources. The solar target is for 1,200MW by 2015.

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