Piyush Goyal, Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal and New & Renewable Energy said that future of electricity in India rest on the pillars of affordability, sustainability and country’s energy security. While delivering Keynote address at a conference on “The Future of Electricity’ here on Tuesday, Shri Goyal said, “Future of electricity, as I see, in India, rest on the pillars of affordability, sustainability and country’s energy security.” Shri Piyush Goyal said that in recent years the economic growth has become stagnant in many parts of developed world. With more and more energy efficiency coming to the fore, the demand curve of electricity in most of the developed world is either flat or showing a downward trajectory. Whereas, India’s electricity consumption is going to quadruple from about 1.1 trillion units to about 4 trillion units by 2030. The Minister further said that despite the massive roll out of energy efficient schemes, we still see a possible 10% jump in the electricity growth annually for the next 15 or 16 years. Indian Electricity sector, to my mind, is possibly the biggest business opportunity the world has to offer today. “So India is a bright spot offering a huge trajectory of growth in the electricity consumption going forward”, he added.
While talking about the fresh demand for power in India, Shri Goyal said. “The fresh demand for power will come from the 230 million people who will get electricity for the first time, the elimination of diesel generation sets because of access to power and from increased economic activity coming from the Make in India campaign,” . The Minister said that power consumption is expected to grow at 10% annually over the next 10-15 years and added that higher personal incomes and the emphasis given to domestic manufacturing activities will significantly increase power consumption despite the improvements in energy efficiency. India has set a target of setting up 175 gigawatt (GW) of renewable energy generation capacity by 2022, out of which 100 GW is to come from solar. Shri Goyal said that solar power capacity, presently at 6.7 GW, will touch 20 GW by next year. Since the solar power sector is on track, the government will now focus on encouraging new hydropower and wind power capacity, the Minister added.
The Minister said that the government launched Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana, “UDAY’ which is expected to improve health of state-run power utilities , enable them to buy more power from producers and invest more in efficiency improvement. Shri Goyal said that the government is also ready to contract at least 70 to 80 million metric standard cubic metres (mmscmd) of natural gas from global suppliers if they are ready to supply long-term at affordable rates, which will enable India to operate its idle gas-based power capacity. The Government will adopt new technologies to make coal-based power generation cleaner and also set up a pool of capital to fund research on green energy technologies with contribution from public sector companies, in which private enterprises could also take part, he said.
Speaking about the environmental concerns, Shri Goyal said that the challenge before the nation is to balance development imperative with sustainability and concerns towards environment. The Minister told, “India will couple maximum amount of Renewable Energy that we can feed into our grid with growing generation of coal based power, maintain that delicate balance to ensure the affordability of power and sustainability of generating and mixing this power and lastly also protect the energy security of the country.” Shri Goyal took the opportunity to invite foreign investors and said “I invite companies from around the world to come and participate in this great growth story that India has to offer.”