600 million people without power – and those were the ones expecting to have power. I’m not going to join the chorus of critical voices reacting to two of the world’s largest power black-outs this week in India. While surely there is ample blame to go around, it’s not really clear what happened. It could have been the lack of infrastructure investment, the light monsoon weather causing farmers to use more electricity for pumping irrigation water or states taking more than their allotted share of electricity from the grid. But one thing is clear, this power outage ground India’s economy to a halt, left 10% of the world’s population without power and rolled through 22 of India’s 28 states. And that’s not counting the 300 million people there who have no regular access to electricity.
At the expo, Applied Materials announced a wafering deal that was recently signed with Birla Surya Ltd., a venture of the Yash Birla Group to develop the first ever Wafering and Cell manufacturing facility in Satara, Maharashtra. Additionally, company executives met with various potential customers and gave remarks.
Recently, India has seen a rapid evolution in its renewable energy sector —a topic widely discussed at the Delhi International Renewable Energy Conference (DIREC). At the conference, held in Delhi, I met with Rajiv Tikoo, technology editor of Financial Express, a top ranked Indian financial daily to discuss the future of the solar manufacturing industry in India.
The Government of India hosted the Delhi International Renewable Energy Conference (DIREC) 2010 recently on the theme of "Up-scaling and Mainstreaming Renewables for Energy Security, Climate Change and Economic Development". The show was the most significant event on renewable energy ever held in India, attracted more than 9,000 delegates and had more than 250 speakers and 600 exhibitors from 50 countries – including ministerial delegations from several countries.