Union Government could not finalise the hydro power policy during last four years, Minister of State for Power RK Singh told a press conference at Kufri on Tuesday.
Briefing the media during a two-day conference of Power and New Renewable Energy Ministers of States and UTs here, Mr Singh informed that Modi government is working on the new hydro power policy for last four years to make the hydro power more competitive and viable. Accepting the downturn in the hydro power sector, Minister attributed the less competitiveness and number of other reason for the low power generation and investment in the sector. He said that compared to thermal power one need to be competitive to pick up the demand of Hydro power which is green energy.
He said that there are three to four reasons for lesser viability and low competitiveness of hydropower he said that high activism of green groups, 13 per cent free power demand by the states from the investors, geographical surprises and very less period to appreciates the capital cost of project are some of the reasons for problems facing hydropower.
”Capital cost borrowed by the power producers after loading them with Bank loans should be given five to six years to be appreciated and new hydro power policy would take care of such measures to at least waive off the 13 per cent free power to the concerned states for five to six years.” he said.
These things happened with the hydro power are responsible for its less viability and this issues also figures during the discussion of two days conference held here today, the minster said.
He also informed that Himachal Pradesh and other Himalayan states are affected with the low demand of hydro power and its low schedule generation. ”We have system of cheaper power getting more schedule as now one could not buy the hydro power if they are getting Rs three to four per unit competitive power from the thermal project.” he noted.
”You need to be more and more competitive and one problem with the hydro sector which was mentioned by the private power producers, is high activism by green groups.” Mr. Singh observed.
” I dont know if this concern is genuine or not he said adding that he does not speculate about the delay caused in completion of most hydro power in the states. However in country like Canada and Norway which depends upon 89 to 90 per cent hydro sector does not have such activism why here. We have seen that the role of such green group in nuclear power project which was proved to be foreign funded, he said . He said that new power policy would address the issue in revising pre-power revenue Agreement to incentivise the hydro power vis-a-vis to thermal power moreover the host state Himachal Pradesh also suggested some measure to reform the sector which was appreciated during the conference to be included in the new hydropower policy. Responding the queries about levying of charge on interstate transfer of power from one state to other, Mr Singh informed that that union government decided to extended waiver on charge till 2020. In order to provided 24X7 power supply to all the states Union minister for state said that Centre has also assured the state to readily supply them the enough coal reserve to pick up their demand with more consumption with increase in the coverage.
We are ready to transfer the coal to such state on their demand and during the conference we have worked out of new method to up power linkage for them, he said that that union government would remove the coal shortage and it would increased 14 per cent more supply to the states after increasing the mining of new coal reserve. Minister said that nine states and union territories which are participating in the conference agreed to provide power to all houses in the country till Dec 31 this year as there were 3.59 Cr households without power till end of last year.