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At least 60 Indian cities will be solar powered by 2020 if India is able to generate 20,000 MW of solar energy by then, said Mark Ginberg, Senior Official with the U.S. Department of Energy.

The U.S. Department of Energy and the All India Institute of Local Self Government (AIILSG) launched a joint training programme on 'Energy efficient and green cities' in Goa, which will train Indian experts, universities, local self governments and civic bodies on getting cities to move to solar powered energy, reports the Times of India.

"Twenty cities in India have already been lined up for this programme and they will be partnered with cities in the U.S. for moving towards this objective," said Ginberg, who is the Senior Executive Advisor to the Assistant Secretary of the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, U.S. Department of Energy.

According to an initial list of partnered Indo-U.S. cities, Ahmedabad has been tied up with Atlanta and Columbus; Bangalore with San Francisco; Chennai with Denver, Delhi with Chicago, Mumbai with Los Angeles and Surat with Philadelphia.

"This tie-up will enable Indian institutions such as schools to study energy-smart schools in the U.S. and implement the same here, if they wish to do so," said Vatsal Bhatt, Co-ordinator of U.S., India and China city partnership for sharing best practices in energy and environment.

Union Minister of State for Power Bharatsinh Solanki said that the country could make use of its open fields and rooftops of houses to harness solar energy and water harvesting. "Delhi is already considering to set up an energy efficiency board. Nuclear energy will the answer in the future, even thorium techniques could be utilized. However, in India, we have financial constraints," he said.


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