Vienna Energy Forum Meet

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Indian Union Minister Power Mr.Piyush Goyal visited Austria from May 10-11, 2017 to participate in the Vienna Energy Forum, which was organized jointly by the Austrian Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).

The Vienna Energy Forum 2017 (VEF 2017) brought together over 1600 participants, including heads of State, ministers, energy experts, representatives of international and non-governmental organizations, academia, civil society and the private sector.

The Vienna Energy Forum 2017 aimed to contribute to the successful implementation of the SDGs and the Paris Agreement. It would serve as a platform for discussing and highlighting the importance of the linkages between climate and development as well as the synergies among the SDGs, and the importance of joint and integrated approaches for a successful implementation.

The Forum explored the role of innovation in opening up new avenues for achieving SDG 7 “Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all“ and related SDGs.

The implementation of these goals and of the Paris Climate Agreement calls for an unprecedented global transformation process that extends far beyond the energy sector. Innovation is urgently needed to drive this transformative agenda.

Mr. Goyal had an interactive session with leading Austrian energy related companies, especially in the renewable energy sector. Organized by the Embassy of India in Vienna, the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber (WKO) and FICCI, the event was the first structured interaction between Austrian and Indian companies with a visiting Indian Minister in Vienna to brainstorm suggestions for rejuvenating the Austrian-India business partnership, especially in the renewables sector.

The Minister enumerated the milestones achieved by India, including, inter alia, an increase in LED bulbs sold, from 6,00,000 a year to 150 million bulbs a year, the 370% expansion witnessed in solar energy in the last three years, reduction in cost of solar energy from 12 cents per unit to 4 cents per unit in under 3 years, and the growth in fiber optics from 358 kms to 2,00,000 kms in the same period. He explained the focus of the Government of India on building a strong foundation that would give India development space for the coming decades.

On the issue of affordability of renewable solutions, Mr. Goyal spoke of the reduction in tariff for solar energy from 12 cents to 4 cents in just three years, in wind energy from 9 cents to 5 cents in the same period and of the scheduled launch on May 12, 2017 of the Energy Efficiency Services Ltd. affordable lighting scheme – UJALA (UK Joins Affordable LEDs For All) in London.

The Vienna Energy Forum has been organized jointly by the Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs in Austria, the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).

It is a biennial, global and multi-stakeholder forum with a mandate of exploring 21st century developmental challenges from the perspective of sustainable energy and providing a platform for debate on practical solutions to these challenges.

VEF 2017 is focusing on Sustainable energy for the implementation of the SDGs and the Paris Agreement.

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