The United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) and the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) are on a mission to sensitise industries about the use of solar thermal technologies in heating and cooling applications.

Highlighting the benefits of using such technology in industries, particularly in terms of reducing carbon emissions, MNRE Director R P Goswami said the ministry extends support of up to 30 per cent of the total cost of solar thermal projects.

“There are more than 200 solar installations across the country, accounting for power generation of around 28000 MW from all these systems,” he said and urged the participants to switch to solar thermal technologies.

Goswami was speaking at the state-level workshop on Concentrating Solar Thermal (CST) Technologies for Industries at The Residency Towers on Thursday.

The workshop, the sixth in the series in the last two months, was organised by the CII, Coimbatore, in association with TEDA, UNIDO and MNRE.

The organisers chose to conduct the workshop at Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu considering that it is a major industrial hub.

Anil Mishra, National Project Manager, UNIDO, said the organisation plans to conduct another four awareness programmes across locations such as Jaipur, Pune, Hyderabad and West Bengal over the next two months.

While highlighting the potential and use of CST technologies in industries, Mishra said the organisation had shortlisted 14 industrial sectors for use of such technology. “Not that others can't use it, but the application of CST has been found to be ideal in the food processing and beverage industry (among others) and select product industries as well,” he told BusinessLine on the sidelines of the workshop.

However, lack of awareness and skilled manpower, certain technical barriers, and the perceived notion that CST is much costlier than conventional energy sources have put off users from investing in it, he added.