Around 280 million people in the country do not have basic electricity connection and the Centre is aiming at supplying power to all homes by 2019, Union Minister Piyush Goyal said today.
“Around 280 million people in India to this day do not have electricity connection at their homes. Till date, they are denied the basic thing like power,” said the minister for Power, Coal and New and Renewable Energy.
He was speaking at Graduation ceremony at Indian School of Business (ISB) campus in Mohali.
“Country’s problem is not about the amount of power generation or the ability to generate. We have surplus power in large parts of the country,” he said, adding that “two real root causes of agony” are non-availability of fuel, coal and gas, as well as not being able transmit power all through the country.
The Centre is looking to provide power to all homes by 2019, he said. “The mission we have set out to achieve to get power for all by 2019 not by merely slogans but by actionable agenda by true action on the ground.”
Goyal said his ministry is focusing on energy efficiency in a big way in a country where Aggregate Technical and Commercial (AT&C) losses are as high as 25 per cent.
He added: “Energy efficiency to me is a big priority item. There I not only save one KW of energy for every unit saved, I am actually saving may be one and quarter of unit of energy.
“On mathematical principals, 1.33 times of every unit of energy is saved given that India has an average 25 per cent of AT&C losses even today. So for every unit saved, I am saving 1.33 unit. In 2.5 years from now, I can bring down by energy wastage by 10 per cent and am looking at powering those 280 million homes out of this energy saved.”
Goyal asked ISB to come up with a proposal for setting up an innovative lab on energy conservation for which his ministry was ready to provide funds.
Betting big on renewable energy, the minister said India has the potential to become the world’s largest producer of renewable energy with the help of innovative financing.
“I am looking at some new financing models which will bring down renewable energy cost significantly. I am hoping you will see renewable energy in large measure being almost parity with coal.
“I believe that India will be able to truly scale up renewable energy to world standards and it may become world’s largest producer and innovating financing can help (in this regard),” he said.
On coal output, Goyal said the government was aiming at doubling the production of Coal India Ltd in next four years.
“At the time of Coal strike, we sat with work men to engage in a dialogue 8-9 hours…you won’t believe, out of 8 hours, six hours were spent on learning from workmen leaders how could we achieve one billion tonne target of coal production at CIL which is doubling coal output…which will take about 20 years to achieve. (But) we want to do in next four years,” he said.
He said 22,000 MW of installed capacity of power generation has been added during last year which is highest ever in the country.
Besides, energy shortage has come down to 3.6 per cent which is also lowest in the history of country while coal output grew by 8.3 per cent during last year which is also highest.
Goyal said the government has been able to buy LED bulb at a rate of Rs 81.93 as against bulb purchased at a rate of Rs 310 in February 2014.
“I do not know what is the amount of corruption eliminated this way,” he said.
Meanwhile, speaking on Graduation Day ceremony, leading industrialist Adi Godrej who as Chairman, ISB board said: “With each passing year, the way academia, industry, government, MNCs and India Inc have heartily welcomed ISB students into their fold, speaks of the quality that this institution represents.
“…Philanthropy is uniquely positioned to play a critical role in catalysing large scale social change. Education is the primary area of giving and I appeal you to cultivate the habit of Philanthropy.”
Responding to the request of Goyal for setting up innovation lab, ISB Dean Ajit Ranganekar said: “We are delighted and excited to consider the request and will make it happen immediately to the highest standards as always.”
At 3rd graduation day at the Mohali Campus of ISB, 246 management students graduated from the PGP Class and the MFAB Class of 2014 (Founding class of MFAB).