Government aims to double power generation to 2 trillion units by 2019

By Sarkaritel November 7, 2014 08:41

Government aims to double power generation to 2 trillion units by 2019

New Delhi, Nov 6 The government is working towards making India a power surplus country by 2019, and aims to generate two trillion units of power by that year, Power and Coal Minister Piyush Goyal said Thursday.

“Right now we produce one trillion units a year, and the aim is to get to two trillion by 2019,” he said at the India Economic Summit here.

“But to do that there are challenges of fuel supply and ensuring how to increase the share of renewables,” he added.

Currently, renewable energy sources account for only 6 percent of the total power generated.

He said 53 million homes in the country were not yet electrified, and there were still many offices and factories operating on diesel gensets.

The minister said state-miner Coal India (CIL) was looking to double its production to a billion tonnes in the next five years.

“I see Coal India production doubling in the next five years. It makes about 500 million tonnes hopefully this year. We’ll do a billion tonnes in 2019,” Goyal said at the India Economic Summit here.

Goyal, who is also minister for new and renewable energy, said a “huge investment opportunity” of nearly $250 billion beckons in the energy sector over the next four to five years, including $100 billion in renewables and $50 billion in transmission and distribution.

“I see investments also coming into wind (energy) with the re-introduction of the fiscal benefits that were earlier available,” he said.

“With interest rates coming down, a stability in the foreign exchange rate to help hedging, the cost of capital for renewable projects will come down. The target of solar generation has also been increased to 100,000 MW by 2022,” Goyal said.

“We want clean energy and we don’t want a situation where certain states have excess power but can’t give it to deficit states due to the lack of transmission lines,” he added.

Emphasising that renewable sources of energy are one of the thrust areas of the government, Goyal said his ministry was taking measures to ensure that solar power generation touches 100 GW by 2019.

The new and renewable energy ministry is also looking at resolving issues of inverted duty structure that hamper domestic solar power manufacturers.

“The finance minister is seized of the concerns of our Make in India programme and we’re sorting out certain inverted duty issues bothering the local (solar) manufacturers,” Goyal said.

Indian manufacturers have asked for scrapping of an inverted duty structure, whereby finished goods are taxed at rates lower than that for importing raw materials. They point to such an irrationality coupled with the concessions for trade partners under free trade agreements as posing major hurdles for domestic industry.

The power minister also announced that the industry had withdrawn its earlier demand for an anti-dumping duty on solar panels from countries like the US and China after intensive dialogue with the ministry on the issue.

Goyal said that demonstrating their commitment to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Make in India campaign, “solar manufacturers, suo motu, withdrew their anti-dumping duty request that would have killed the domestic industry and which whould have been implemented in August.”

“Solar manufacturers have measured up to our expectations. This will strengthen domestic manufacturing, but will also allow international competition to keep costs low,” he added.

Domestic power firms have been lobbying against the imposition of the duty as it would have led to rise in equipment costs.

The previous UPA government had, in May, recommended imposing a restrictive duty in the range of $0.11-0.81 per watt on solar cells imported from the US, China, Malaysia and Chinese Taipei.

Goyal has earlier said domestic solar equipment manufacturing capacity of 700-800 MW is not sufficient to meet the government’s ambitious plans of adding more power generation capacity through renewable energy sources.

The country’s current installed solar capacity is over 2,600 MW.

By Sarkaritel November 7, 2014 08:41