Union Minister of State for Coal, Power, New & Renewable Energy, Mr. Piyush Goyal today asserted that the road map was ready for ensuring 24 x 7 affordable power for all. He said the Ministries of Power, Coal and New & Renewable Energy have worked together in laying a firm foundation for creating a power surplus environment in the country. Mr. Goyal was addressing a National Video Link Press Conference from New Delhi linking 10 other centres including Mumbai
Mr. Goyal said in a significant transformation, India has become power surplus , with record capacity addition taking place in the last two years. “The power capacity at the time of independence was 1,300 Mw, which grew to around 2,40,000 Mw by 2014. In the last two years we have added another 60,000 Mw capacity, i.e. 20% of all the capacity that was added over the 65 years period” he added. He said the Prime Minister’s assurance of ‘Power For All’ would become a reality by 2019, instead of the original target of 2022. He said 7,779 remote villages out of 18,452 un-electrified villages have already been connected.
The Minister said the Government had worked on a war footing to completely eliminate coal shortage in the country. “Today, not a single power plant faces shortage of coal as opposed to the impending power crisis in 2014, when most of the thermal power plants had critical coal stock of less than 7 days”. Stressing on transparency, Mr. Goyal recalled the success of coal block auctions and how it has become a model for the world. The last two years witnessed the highest ever growth in coal production of 74 million tonnes.
Mr. Piyush Goyal said the government is focussed on addressing the root problem of the power sector and hence it has introduced the Ujjwal Discom Assurance Yojana, UDAY. He said UDAY scheme is designed to address difficulties faced by DisComs, improve power transmission infrastructure and eventually result in energy saving of Rs 1.8 lakh crores by 2019. “Despite being a voluntary scheme, 18 states and 1 union territory have signed agreement or agreed to join UDAY. The success of UDAY bonds worth Rs 1 lakh crores have put to rest, whatever little doubts there were about the efficacy of the scheme”
The Minister said under the One Nation, One Grid, One Price programme, 50,215 circuit kms transmissions were laid between 2014-16, while Power Grid commissioned projects worth Rs 30,300 crores in 2015-16. Mr. Goyal said improvement in power transmission and revival of several gas based power projects benefitted the South Indian states of Tamilnadu, AP, Telangana and Karnataka the most.
Mr. Piyush Goyal stressed that farmers deserved low cost power and added that the Deen Dayal Upadhyay Gram Jyoti Yojana and Integrated Power Development Scheme have been launched to provide affordable power for all.
The Minister said the Government has launched mobile apps to empower citizens and promote transparency. GARV (Gramme Vidyuteekaran) App helps people track rural electrification, while the Vidyut Pravah App provides real time information of electricity price and availability. “By filling the information gap, State Governments have been made accountable” Mr. Goyal added.
The Energy Minister also said that India has embarked upon the world’s largest renewable energy programme with a target to increase overall renewable capacity by more than 5 times from the present 32,000 Mw to 1,75,000 Mw. He said the Government’s amended tariff policy is aimed at addressing 4Es : Electricity, Environment, Efficiency and Ease of Doing Business.
The Minister also released the ‘Ujjwal Bharat’ booklet in the presence of the Secretary, Coal Mr. Anil Swarup, Secretary, New & Renewable Energy, Mr. Upendra Tripathi, Additional Secretary, Power, Mr. B P Pandey and DG, PIB Mr. Frank Noronha.