Power players seek policy changes to cut transmission logjam

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Published: July 23, 2019 2:35:27 AM

According to a recent report from Oxford Economics, 17 of the top 20 fastest growing cities in the world are in India.

One of the eight suggestions advocated by the white paper was reducing this time by 40% by modifying the procedure of getting forest clearances and easing the bidding process.

With the power sector undergoing major transitions, the private transmission industry wants the government to initiate a number of policy changes which would give them more flexibility in network planning. The private sector accounted for 41% of total Rs 1.03 lakh crore invested in transmission asset creation since 2011.

In an event recently held here, industry leaders said that the mandatory government design and technology often do not leave enough scope of adopting new relevant technologies, which in most cases unduly increase capex, thereby increasing power tariff.

According to a white paper recently launched by the Confederation of Indian Industry, the average time taken from the notification of a transmission project to the start of its construction is as many as 760 days. One of the eight suggestions advocated by the white paper was reducing this time by 40% by modifying the procedure of getting forest clearances and easing the bidding process.

Since wind and solar plants can be set up much faster than the transmission network to evacuate power from these stations, the time required to set up the lines are much lower than what was warranted by thermal power plants. Recognising the challenge, the government recently identified transmission projects for 66.5 GW of upcoming renewable plants as ‘Projects of National Importance’.

With the challenges of time, space and capital rapidly constraining the expansion of transmission lines, the white paper, co-authored by McKinsey & Company, also suggested power utilities to exploit existing systems and augment its transmission capacity by using superior technology. According to a recent report from Oxford Economics, 17 of the top 20 fastest growing cities in the world are in India.

According to the national electricity plan on transmission published by the Central Electricity Authority, about Rs 2.7 lakh crore would be required till FY22 to build 1.1 lakh circuit kilometres of new transmission lines and commensurate sub-stations for supporting new intermittent renewable generation capacities and make the infrastructure more flexible to accommodate the evolving trends in power consumption.

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