‘India’s LED programme, inspiration for many countries’

BusinessLine caught up with Fatih Birol, Executive Director, International Energy Agency, at the 8th Clean Energy Ministerial — a policy-cum-technical conference of clean energy ministers of 25 countries — held in Beijing last week. (The Indian delegation was headed by the Minister for Science and Technology, Harsh Vardhan, who now holds the additional charge of the Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change). Birol, a Turkish economist, spoke about a range of issues relating to energy, from LED lights to the developments in Qatar. Excerpts:

India joined the IEA recently (March 30, this year). How does IEA look at the new entrant?

I am delighted and honoured to have India as a member of the IEA family. (Now) we have more voices from Asia, more voices from the developing world and more voices for clean energy. We are following developments in India very closely and many of these developments make us very happy.

We learn that one of such developments that the IEA is looking at is the lighting programme (the Ujala programme, which is the replacement of old lamps with the more energy efficient LED bulbs). Is it true that the Agency is bringing out a case study on it?

We have been following India’s LED programme for a long time. In the opening session here, I highlighted this as one of the successes of clean energy work. India’s LED programme has become an inspiration for many other countries, for example, Indonesia. It is an exemplary programme and we are very, very happy with the results. (We are studying) how it is designed and implemented.

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