How India became power surplus country in three years: Piyush Goyal lists out achievements

Piyush Goyal today said India has become a power surplus country in the last three years of NDA government.

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Minister of State for Power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy and Mines (Independent Charge) Piyush Goyal at a press conference on the achievements of his ministries in three years of NDA-led central government, in New Delhi on Monday. (PTI Photo)

Piyush Goyal, Union Minister of State for Power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy and Mines, today said India has become a power surplus country in the last three years of NDA government at the Centre and there is no shortage of electricity or coal. Addressing a press conference, Goyal said, “The highest ever 60GW addition in conventional power, about 40% increase in transformation capacity, and over one-fourth increase in transmission lines since April 2014-March 2017, have made India a power surplus country, with no shortage of electricity or coal.” Not only this, the Union minister also said that India became net exporter of electricity for the first time in 2016-17.

According to Goyal, these feats have been achieved because of several new initiatives take by his government. For instance, he said, all States have signed the “Power for All” agreements, highlighting Centre’s “commitment” to the principle of Cooperative Federalism. Similarly, Goyal said, “One Nation, One Grid, One Price” has been further strengthened and surplus electricity made available at affordable rates for States.

Talking about other schmes of the NDA government, Goyal said, SHAKTI (Scheme for Harnessing and Allocating Koyala Transparently in India) has become a “transformational policy” for auction and allotment of coal linkages. This will lead to affordable power, access to coal and accountability in the allocation of coal, he added.

In the last three years, UDAY (Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana) scheme helped save around Rs 12,000 crores for DISCOMs due to issuance of UDAY Bonds worth Rs 2.32 lakh crore. “These savings will help in providing affordable power to consumers,” Goyal said.

According to Goyal, new reform measures have helped in improving India’s ranking in World Bank’s “Ease of Getting Electricity” from 99 in 2015 to 26 in 2017. The minister said that only 4,000 of the 18,452 remaining un-electrified villages (as of 1st April 2015) still remain and they will be electrified by May 2018 under DDUGJY – Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana. he added that the government has set the target of electrifying every household by 2022. According to data by states, around 4.5 crore rural households still remain to be electrified.

Under UJALA (Unnat Jyoti by Affordable Electricity for All) scheme, Goyal said, India received world recognition for its energy efficiency initiatives as over 23 crore LED bulbs were distributed under UJALA across the country in three years. He claimed that the distribution of LED bulbs helped in saving Rs 12,400 crore in electricity bills and reduced CO2 emissions by over 2.5 crore tonnes annually.

Talking about the New and Renewable Energy, Goyal said India crossed major milestones in its mission to achieve 175 GW of renewable power by 2022 in FY 2016-17. The government introduced competitive bidding and ensured that renewable energy becomes affordable and attractive for consumers. According to the power minister, 2016-17 saw the lowest tariffs in both solar (Rs 2.44) and wind (Rs 3.46) energy. Not only this, he said, FY 2016-17 also became the first year when net capacity addition of renewable energy was higher than that of conventional energy.

The Union government has set a goal of producing 100 crore tonnes of domestic coal by 2019-20. In last three years, the country achieved 9.2 crore tonne increase in coal production. Goyal said that this increase took about seven years before 2014. In 2014, he said, around two-thirds of power plants in the country were “reeling critical coal stocks” but now “there is no shortage of coal”. Net coal import also decreased in the last three years and India was able to save foreign exchange worth Rs 25,900 crores, said the minister.

Goyal said his government’s principle of “less coal for more power” has yielded results. “In 2016-17, 0.63 kgs of coal was used to produce 1 kWh of electricity (specific coal consumption), versus 0.69 kgs in 2013-2014, a reduction of 8%. This ensures cheaper as well as cleaner electricity. Further, coal linkage rationalization of 4 crore tonnes of coal will result in potential savings of about Rs. 3,000 crores,” he said.

In the mining sector, the minister said that transparent auction of 24 mineral blocks will lead to estimated revenue of over Rs 1 lakh crore to the states over the lease period of the mines.

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