Energy Minister K.J. George said that the government would focus on green energy generation to meet the growing need for electricity.
“We will strengthen the existing thermal power stations in the State which contribute 40% of State electricity generation. But we will not expand them or open new thermal power stations considering the global climate change concerns. We will focus on tapping renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. The focus will be more on solar energy generation. The number of electric vehicles is steadily growing in the State and we are planning to expand charging stations across the State to meet the new demand,” he said, after visiting Ballari Thermal Power Station (BTPS) in Ballari on Monday.
Denying attributing power shortage to the delayed monsoon, the Minister expressed hope that the picking up monsoon would help hydroelectric power generation. “There is no shortage of coal. We have directed to maintain the quality of coal,” he said.
Earlier in the day, Mr. George visited Raichur Thermal Power Station (RTPS) and Yermarus Thermal Power Station (YTPS) in Raichur district where he dismissed the rumours that the implementation of the Gruha Jyothi Scheme would result in frequent load-shedding.
“The Gruha Jyothi Scheme would be implemented from next month. Those who use less than 200 units would get zero bills from August this year. Those who cross the usage limit of 200 units would have to pay for the energy they consumed. There are 2.16 crore Gruha Jyothi beneficiaries in the State. We have not fixed any last date for registration. Already 5.2 lakh consumers have registered. There is three-month time for the registration. It will not affect the regular power supply,” Mr. George said.
Blaming BJP for the power tariff hike, Mr George said that there was no connection between the electricity tariff hike and the Gruha Jyothi Scheme.
“BJP is responsible for a power tariff hike. The decision was taken in November last year and implemented soon after the elections were over. The tariff is hiked as per the Central Act. They [BJP] deliberately postponed the implementation of the power tariff hike in March and now they are blaming us after it is implemented. The previous BJP government had not paid the companies that had supplied coal. We will hold a meeting of officials concerned and get more information about it,” he said.
Raichur Rural MLA Basanagouda Daddal, Sindhanur MLA Hampanagowda Badarli, Energy Department Secretary Gaurav Gupta, KPCL Managing Director Pankaj Kumar Pandey, RTPS Executive Director Diwakar, Raichur Deputy Commissioner Chandrashekhar Nayak, Superintendent of Police Nikhil were present.