Delivering the keynote address at the “Conference on Power Sector – A Way Forward” organized by the Central Electricity Authority and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Sh. Jyotiraditya Madhavrao Scindia, Minister of State (Independent Charge), Ministry of Power said, “The decadel growth rate of the Indian economy in the last two decades has been 6.5%. To sustain and propel this economic growth, it is critical to ensure growth in the power sector across the various segments.”
On the generation front, highlighting the need to raise the bar, he said, “Targets for the twelfth and thirteenth plan are respectively 88 and 93 Gigawatts (GW). This will be primarily be driven by the private sector which will account for 55 per cent of these investments by end of the 12th Plan. By 2032, we must have a portfolio of close to 800 GW.
Outlining some of the initiatives that have been taken jointly by the Ministry of power and Ministry of Coal to address the fuel supply issue he said, “Fuel Supply agreements of close to 66 GW are likely to be signed in the next two-three months.. Also work is in progress to set up an independent coal regulator and implement the process of price pooling through coal imports.”
On the distribution front, he emphasised on the need to reduce AT&C losses. He said,” For the first time in history, there has been a tariff increase across the board with some states raising tariffs by as much as 37 per cent. However, in my view, a revision in tariff is not a triumph. It becomes necessary as the AT&C losses are not being reduced.It is more critical to reduce AT&C losses as the tariff increase will then be gradual.” Concluding his address, he reiterated the need for all key stakeholders to work together.
Giving his perspective, Mr B K Chaturvedi, Member (Energy), Planning Commission, said, “ The capacity addition in the 11th Plan witnessed a quantum jump and the requirements of fuel, finances, manufacturing and transmission all changed completely. While we have done fairly well on the manufacturing capacity front with BHEL increasing its capacity from 6000MW per annum to 20000 MW per annum and several private players making a foray into this space, we have not moved forward in the areas of fuel supply and the discom financial health. Putting forth some possible solutions, he said, “To address coal shortages, there is a need for faster environmental clearances and facilitating coal transportation. ”Reiterating the need to reduce line losses he said, “While APTEL’s order has prompted regulators to raise tariffs and loans are being restructured, a stronger focus to reduce AT&C losses in the twelfth plan is required.”
Outlining some of the initiatives that have been taken by the government, Mr A S Bakshi, Chairperson, Central Electricity Authority said,”Several initiatives related to signing FSAs, improving grid security, faster environmental clearances, meeting peaking power and setting an advisory panel have been taken.
In the course of his remarks, Mr Anil Sardana, Chairman, CII National Committee on Power said, “We should try and maximise supplies from the Indian fuel suppliers and more importantly identify the basket of fuels that will be used by regulators for determining bulk tariff. On the distribution front, almost 85 per cent of the electricity distriution is in the hands of the government where the discipline to ensure the discoms are run like a viable commercial entity is rarely seen. It is therefore critical to declutch the regulators and move to regional rather than state regulators.