Ruling out any tariff hike for farmers, Piyush Goyal, Minister of State for Coal, Mines, Power, New & Renewable Energy said the government's aim is to ensure power at Rs 3 per unit, irrespective of source in the medium term.
“100Gw of stranded and stressed assets have been revived through policy reforms and resource mobilisation. Power demand has increased by 6.5 per cent last fiscal, even as India became power surplus for the first time,” said Goyal at the 2017 Annual Session of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
He said two years of coal reforms have led to surplus supply for power plants. “Now focus is on ensuring better domestic coal quality and re-engineering processes so that legacy imported coal-based plants can use indigenous supply,” he added.
Goyal allayed fears of reduction in plant load factor calling it short term and due to stagnant generating units coming online and increasing capacity.
Highlighting the potential of the renewable energy sector, which grew by as much as 370 per cent, Goyal said well-organised and transparent competitive bidding processes have driven tariffs for solar and wind below Rs 3/unit.
“Efforts are on enhance grid integration of renewables through improved infrastructure, smart grid management, better demand-response services, and the Green Energy Corridor,” said the minister.
He also said that stringent inspection and upcoming standards for solar modules and cells will drive manufacturing and counter sub-standard imports.