Identifying energy as one of the most complex sectors of the economy, the draft Three Year Action Agenda for FY18-FY20 released by the Niti Aayog, recommended a number of targets and policy guidelines. Energy efficiency was a key role in the formulation of the agendas. The suggestions touch upon all the major segments of the entire energy value chain.
Citing the current low plant load factor (PLF) of thermal power plants, mainly owing to low demand, the report suggested take a cautious approach on capacity additions after FY20. It suggested that thermal power plants with unsatisfactory energy efficiency levels should go thorough renovation and modernisation. Old polluting power plants near populated near populated areas should be phased out by 2019. New thermal plants near populated areas should be based on ultra super critical technology, it said. Reiterating the need for energy efficiency, the report said that strict compliance of emissions norms must be overseen.
PLFs of gas based power plants must be raised from the current levels of 24.8%. Large hydro project generation capacity by FY20 should be 6.9GW, it said. Niti suggested nuclear energy capacity addition of 2.8 GW by 2019.
Work on new projects under construction and the third and fourth units at Kudankulam should be actively pursued.
It suggested that transmission capacity to South India must be increased to 18.4 GW. Transmission corridor on the Indian side must be set up by FY20 to evacuate power from the hydel project joint venture in Bhutan.
Efforts must be taken to lower aggregate technical and commercial losses and meeting other targets set under the Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana. It specified that it must be ensured that the discoms do not face any shortage
of working capital. Metering plans must be expedited.
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As the country is increasingly getting more dependent on imports to meet its fossil fuel demands, the report highlighted the growing necessity to achieve the green power targets set in the Paris Agreement. To that end,
Niti recommended the installation of 100 GW of renewable power projects by FY20. It also said that remunerative policies such as net metering for rooftop projects should be implemented to achieve the off-grid capacity
target of 20 GW by FY20. To tackle the issue of storage solutions, which is currently the main challenge that is stopping renewable tariffs from going further down, the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) should develop
solar solutions within the span. It suggested that the small hydropower capacity target timeline of 5 GW should be advanced to FY20 instead of 2022. Solar and wind energy capacity targets for the period has been
recommended to be 53 GW and 15.8 GW respectively.Oil and Gas
Oil and Gas
The document pitches for augmenting the country’s oil and gas production through both domestic and overseas exploration, and in the next three years 25% of the present 3.14 million square km of sedimentary area should be
awarded for exploration. Also, global companies should be offered support to start research and development centres in India for India-specific research. The report also suggests that a Shale Oil and Gas Authority should be
established by 2018 especially to explore the north-eastern part of the country. The report also bats for liberalising trade of all petroleum products transparently in order to expand the coverage of unserved regions of the country through the participation of private players.