The Government’s aim is to ensure power at Rupees 3 per unit irrespective of source in the medium term, said Piyush Goyal, Minister of State (Independent Charge) Power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy, and Mines at the 2017 Annual Session of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
Minister Goyal further assured that there is no proposal to increase tariffs for farmers.
Speaking at the CII session on ‘Changing Energy Economics and India’, Goyal stated that 100GW of stranded and stressed assets have been revived through policy reforms and resource mobilisation.
Power demand has increased by 6.5% last fiscal, even as India became power surplus for the first time. The DDU Gram Jyoti Yojana has reached 75% target to electrify 18452 villages.
Goyal said that two years of coal reforms have led to surplus supply for power plants. Now focus is on ensuring better domestic coal quality and re-engineering processes so that legacy imported coal-based plants can use indigenous supply.
He stated that short term reduction in plant load factors is due to stagnant generating units coming online and increasing capacity.
India has seen a 370% growth in renewable-based generation capacity in the past three years. Well-organised and transparent competitive bidding processes have driven tariffs for solar and wind below Rs 3/unit.
Efforts are on enhance grid integration of renewables through improved infrastructure, smart grid management, better demand-response services, and the Green Energy Corridor.
Stringent inspection and upcoming standards for solar modules and cells will drive manufacturing and counter substandard imports. He stated that with reducing costs and the opportunity to build capacity in EPC services, offshore wind may be taken up for pilot studies through NTPC.
On UDAY, Goyal pointed out that it is not only about financial re-engineering of discoms but also inculcating financial discipline, by capping lending to inefficient discoms. UDAY has zero financial implications on the Government with no subsidies or write-offs to discoms.
Goyal elaborated on plans to introduce Electric Vehicles (EV) on a mass scale within 3 years to phase out petrol and diesel cars by 2030. The Government will build charging infrastructure and battery swapping programmes.
Sumant Sinha, Chairman, CII Northern Region and Founder-Chairman and CEO, ReNew Power Ventures Pvt Ltd, lauded the Government initiatives, such as improving coal supply through extensive reforms, pushing for 175GW renewable energy capacity through investment promotion, industry mobilisation, creating manufacturing and skilling capacities, and the revival of discoms through UDAY, which have brought the power sector back on its feet.
He noted the challenges of creating power demand and new markets, streamlining grid operations, and enhancing consumer choice and experience.
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