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Salute the sun

It was the first oil shock of the early 1970s that drew public interest to renewable energy technologies. Suddenly solar cookers, solar water heating systems, solar photovoltaic cells, wind electricity generators, wind pumps, biomass gasifiers and biogas plants became topics of interest.

However, when oil prices came down to manageable levels, the attention waned. They again came back when climate change mitigation policies and booming oil prices took centrestage. At present, renewable energy technologies are being utilised on a much larger scale. The annual growth rate of wind power is 24 per cent, solar water heaters 20 per cent and grid-connected solar photovoltaics around 55 per cent.

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