Bhubaneswar: The eighth session of the Odisha Knowledge Hub (OKH) session was held on Monday here at State Secretariat.
Attending to the session, Professor Michael Greenstone, an expert in Energy & Environment from Chicago University said that while access to energy is crucial for economic development, the challenge before every nation is to meet the energy demand of the people at an affordable cost.
Addressing media after his key note lecture on the occasion, Greenstone said that Odisha has a very great opportunity for expanding energy access for people, especially in the rural areas. The per capita electricity consumption in Odisha is around 1200 kWh.
Acknowledging the fact that energy access is a major problem in many parts of the globe, he said that Greenstone climate change due to excess burning of fossil fuel is the other area of concern. While emphasizing the need for universal access to energy, the energy expert said the efforts should be on to generate more clean energy at an affordable cost. He also emphasised on better pollution audit and research policy partnership.
He further informed that besides abundant forest, Odisha is specific as a coal-rich State.
It may be noted here that the University of Chicago, in 2014, launched EPIC-India to help Indian policymakers tackle the challenges head-on through cross-disciplinary, innovative research and partnerships with government, industry, research institutes and other stakeholders to galvanize sweeping policy changes that promote sustainable growth.
Development Commissioner R Balakrishnan said that they had invited the professor to listen from him about the future of fossil fuel and how do they collaborate with various State Governments for addressing the challenges of energy and environment.