The Government is focusing on a multipronged strategy to ensure increased electricity access and demand, said Mr Piyush Goyal, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Power, Coal and New & Renewable Energy. He was speaking at the session, “Energising India through Global Partnerships” at the CII Annual Session 2016 in New Delhi on Tuesday.
The overall strategy includes a focus on enhancing energy efficiency, thrust on renewable energy and ensuring sustainable growth, added the Minister. “Our first priority is reaching power to the poorest of the poor in the country and I am fairly confident of bringing electricity to all villages by next year. We intend to reach every home in the country by 2019,” he stressed.
On lowering industrial tariffs, the Minister said that the effort is to address inefficiencies. UDAY, the power sector reform, is expected to result in savings of Rs 180,000 crores annually from 2019. These savings would provide headroom to bring down tariffs.
Regarding international cooperation for global competiveness and technology, Mr Goyal stated that dialogue with several countries including the US, Japan and Australia have moved from a Government to Government dialogue to a Government to business interface. The International Solar Alliance (ISA) is a key initiative launched by India to seek cooperation at a global level.
Quoting data regarding achievements of the sector, the Minister said, “We will focus on increasing electricity demand, developing hydro power and intrastate transmission. Also there is a need to build enough redundancy in the system to address breakdowns.” Mr Goyal stressed that public-private partnerships are central to the power sector. He expressed confidence that India would meet the target of 20,000 MW of solar power by 2017 and the 100 gigawatts target of renewable energy by 2022.
Mr Sumant Sinha, Deputy Chairman, CII Northern Region and Chairman and Founder, Renew Power Ventures Pvt Ltd, said, “It is important to look at partnerships for attracting capital both equity and debt. The second area where we can look at partnerships is in the area of technology.”
Mr Anil Sardana, Chairman, CII National Committee on Power, and CEO and Managing Director of Tata Power Ltd, called for lowering industrial tariffs. “There is also a need to reshape industrial tariffs and explore how these tariffs can be reduced making the industry more competitive,” he added.
Reiterating the importance of competitive and reliable power, Mr Ratul Puri, Chairman, Hindustan Power Projects Ltd, said, “We need to ensure that as we build clean power, the cost of power remains competitive. We also need to look at restarting investment cycle on the thermal side while meeting our obligations on climate change.” He added that strategies to garner $750 billion of debt will be required.
April 5, 2016