Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal on Monday linked 24×7 power supply with the transmission and distribution (T&D) losses and consumer honesty. Addressing a press conference here, Goyal said that Power for All can be ensured where transmission & distribution (T&D) losses are less than 15 percent. He also said that when people pay bills honestly, 24×7 power can be a reality. The Minister said that earlier 16 or 25 KVA transformers were being installed but now the government has directed to install 63 or 100 KVA transformers to meet the excess demand. Goyal, however, added that “Today the country has sufficient power generation capacity and we’ve enough capacity that we can add 50 per cent more power in the system”. He said India is committed to regional cooperation among most of SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) nations and giving power to Nepal, Bangladesh, and Bhutan. The Minister said India is a coal surplus country but unfortunately for all Indians, previous governments, set up power plants designed on imported coal.
“Today the nation will have to pay a price and will continue to pay it for many years by continuing to import thermal coal to feed this capacity which is designed on imported coal that is the unfortunate reality because of which we continue to have imported coal in this country,” said Goyal. The Minister claimed that electrification in Uttar Pradesh has become fast after Narendra Modi Government assumed power. “Uttar Pradesh only electrified 26 villages in last four years but after Modi Government came to power, 1364 villages have been electrified,” said the Union Power Minister. He also added that the Centre and the state are committed to resolving Uttar Pradesh’s power sector distress through smart metering and crackdown on power theft.
Replying a question about the impact of the US’ departure from the Paris Climate Accord on India’s new and renewable energy production, Goyal said, “Prime Minister Narendra Modi has already made it clear at different fora that India is committed towards protecting environment. India has not been promoting new and renewable energy production just because any country is saying, but it is in India’s 5000-year-old heritage. India is committed to protect the environment.”
When asked about the government’s steps to provide relief to the manufacturers of solar cells and panel who are facing financial crunch, the minister said the Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs), which are using power for their own consumption, are going to come out with the lot of purchasing for their own requirement. He, however, hoped that Indian manufacturers will make their quality and cost competitive.
“Giving the large scale at which India is now procuring solar panels and equipments, my own sense is that now Indian industry will be able to stand on its own feet and be able to expand their production to international standards so that we are more cost competitive. I am sure the solar manufacturers have good days ahead of them,” he added.
The Union Power Minister further said that “In interest of consumers, we are allowing only those rooftop solar setups who provide repair and maintenance services”. He also said that the government was committed to promote hydro electricity sector. “We are committed to boosting hydro sector and starting projects stalled for years due to inefficiency of the previous governments,” said Goyal. He said that government would also encourage the people having barren land to setup solar power plants.