OPINION: Reform distribution, capacity will follow

OPINION: Reform distribution, capacity will follow

The more things seem to change in the vexed power sector, the more they remain the same. After a quarter century of putative power reforms, the policy focus remains stepping up generation, never mind that power distribution leaks revenue like a sieve thanks to reckless, politically mandated giveaways and routine theft.

Power minister R K Singh has recently announced that the government would invite bids for a massive 1 lakh MW of solar power capacity in one go, the game plan apparently is to far exceed the target for 1,75,000 MW of renewable power capacity by 2022.

The relentless drive to shore up the installed generation base, albeit of green and renewable energy, is entirely questionable given that about 50,000 MW of conventional power capacity is stranded, in the main due to lack of demand from cash-strapped distribution utilities.

Besides, the 175 GW target for renewables seems likely to be met, although the lack of line capacity may well affect power evacuation going forward. The lop-side emphasis on generation can short-circuit the system, given the moribund finances of state power utilities. Read More

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