Industry

India to be power surplus in 2019: Goyal

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The target will be achieved by a combination of measures

Reassuring industry and foreign investors that they would not be energy starved, the government, on Friday, said the country would be power surplus in 2019, and several measures were underway to achieve the goal.

“India will be power surplus in 2019, and we are taking all necessary steps. From the current one trillion units of energy generation, we can double the power generation and become power surplus,” Union Minister for Power, Coal and Renewable Energy Piyush Goyal told a group of industry executives here.

The target would be achieved by a combination of measures such as putting up additional power generation capacity and adoption of stringent energy conservation procedures, he said.

The government was undertaking route cause analysis for problems bogging sectors and coming out with policies for faster remedial action and implementation, he added.

Since 32,000 MW of thermal capacity was now 25 years old, the government was encouraging for the phasing out of these plants and capacity expansion at the same location with supercritical power units, the Minister said.

Over 70,000 MW worth of power plants, which were deeply underutilised or shut down, were being looked at to achieve optimum generation, Mr. Goyal said.

Over 14,000 MW of gas based plants that had closed down due to unavailability of gas were likely to be revived. Another 30,000 to 40,000 MW of capacity that were getting ready or were struck at various stages of implementation were also being given a policy push, the Minister said. Three large hydro projects, namely, Subansiri in Arunachal Pradesh, Teesta in Sikkim and Maheshwar in Madhya Pradesh, stalled for many years, were being given priority for revival, the Minister said.

To address the problem faced by a large number of incomplete mini-hydro projects, the government was coming out with a hydro policy that would help in their revival. “We are keen that all stalled projects are completed so that they contribute to economic growth,” Mr. Goyal said.

He said the renewable energy sector was being given a boost, and the government had initiated several steps to reduce transmission and distribution losses, increase plant load factor and reduce energy consumption by encouraging use of cost effective LED lights across the country. To provide cheaper fuel to thermal power plants, domestic coal is being augmented through a transparent allotment process.

Towards achieving the objectives, Mr. Goyal is looking at $250-billion investment in coal, power and renewable energy sectors in the coming years.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2020 4:19:35 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/Industry/india-to-be-power-surplus-in-2019-goyal/article6892695.ece

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