Industry

Centre will not bail out ailing discoms: Goyal

Union Minister for Power, Coal and Renewable Energy Piyush Goyal on Friday, categorically ruled out the possibility of Government of India bailing out stressed discoms.

Talking to the media after addressing an Environment and Energy Conclave , he said : “ The Government of India will not bail out any discom, the investments being proposed in infrastructure-upgrade, the adequate supplies of coal, the focus on rural electrification, will all lead to increased demand for power and the losses of discoms should start declining.. the government will support them, monitor their situation.. but no bail out”.

Demand will pick up as with progress of rural electrification diesel generating sets get replaced and village homes get connected to the grid. Cost of generation ( and consequently tariff too) should reduce once transmission and distribution losses are hemmed in through installation of smart systems, the minister said.

It may be mentioned that lack of demand, among other factors have led to acute distress in the Indian power sector with stranded projects and backed-down generation. The distribution companies in the power sector are among the worst-affected segments with some discoms in particularly bad shape.

Mr Goyal also said that the government is planning to bid out transmission lines to carry the country’s surplus power.

He reiterated a point made earlier at the conclave that all rural homes would get electrified by 2019. Right now 22 crore people living in five crore homes, have no electricity.

Earlier he said that the government’s focus was not only to make power available to all but to do so in an affordable, environment friendly-way . “ We are planning to make treatment of urban waste compulsory for use at power plants”, he said.

Renewable energy targets

He said that a five-fold jump was being planned in renewable energy so as to have a capacity of 1.75 lakh MW in seven years from 37,000 now. “ This would be the largest clean energy project in the world.” In this context, he also lauded the pumped energy projects in West Bengal.

Pumped energy projects draw on thermal energy to meet peak energy demand by converting that thermal power to hydel power by pumping up water using thermal power to a height and harnessing hydel power during the drop. On nuclear power he said that while this would be harnessed for India coal-based power plants would be give the base load for power.

West Bengal Power Minister Manish Gupta said that the state was planning a mega project in roof top solar power projects. He said in addition to the existing 900 MW pumped storage project at Purulia two more projects were being planned.

He said that in respect of hydel power there was need to engage with neighbouring countries like Bhutan and Nepal.

On coal, he said that there was need to set up a regulator for the sector.


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Printable version | Nov 30, 2021 9:13:49 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/Industry/centre-will-not-bail-out-ailing-discoms-goyal/article7591430.ece

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