The government is in the process of reviving stalled and stressed power projects – both thermal and hydro power - in the country and the government is doing all it could to help out developers, power minister Piyush Goyal said today.
"We are close to resolution of stressed thermal power projects soon where developers are not wilful defaulters," Goyal told reporters here while speaking about three years of the government's performance.
Addressing the media present at 7 cities – Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Bhubaneshwar, Jaipur, Kolkata, Lucknow and Patna - through video conferencing, he said the power ministry is working on reviving 11,639 megawatts of stalled hydro projects, on which investments to the tune of Rs16,709 crore have to be made till 2024-25.
The government, he said, had extensive discussions with bankers and stakeholders and has decided to provide interest subvention of about 4 per cent to developers to turn around hydro projects as well.
The power ministry and the Niti Aayog, Goyal said, are jointly working on a policy for next 25 years to ensure energy security. He expects renewable energy capacity to surpass thermal power by 2022.
He said the capacity of the Southern Grid is going to be doubled in the next three years. "The government is working towards doubling the capacity of the Southern Grid in the next three years and it will be increased by 4 times in the next 6 years."
Goyal also said that Coal India is going to set up 1 GW of solar energy power generation and will then work towards the target of achieving 10 GW of renewable power capacity addition. He said power PSUs are working towards sourcing all their auxiliary power generation through renewable energy sources.
Recounting the achievements and initiatives of the ministry during the past three years, Goyal said that achieving the mission of 24x7 affordable clean 'Power for All' and ensuring the optimum utilisation of natural resources for national development are very critical to 'Ujwal Bharat' which will help in realising Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision of New India.
Over the past three years, the ministries of power, coal, new & renewable energy and mines have made considerable progress towards achieving this goal, he said.
Detailing major achievements of the four ministries, Goyal said the principle of ''less coal for more power'' has yielded results. In 2016-17, 0.63 kgs of coal was used to produce 1 kWh of electricity (specific coal consumption), versus 0.69 kg in 2013-2014, a reduction of 8 per cent. This ensures cheaper as well as cleaner electricity. Further, coal linkage rationalization of 4 crore tonnes of coal will result in potential savings of about Rs3,000 crore.
All states have signed the 'Power for All' agreements, he said, adding that the e-allocation policy for coal linkages is a transformational policy that will lead to affordable power, access to coal and accountability in the allocation of coal. The mega power policy will facilitate competitive bidding for future power purchase agreements and ensure long term project viability.
''The highest ever 60GW addition in conventional power, about 40 per cent increase in transformation capacity, and over one-fourth increase in transmission lines since April 2014-March 2017, have made India a power surplus country, with no shortage of electricity or coal. 'One Nation, One Grid, One Price' was further strengthened with surplus electricity available at affordable rates for states. For the first time, India became a net exporter of electricity in 2016-17,'' the mister pointed out.