Friday, Oct 31, 2014

Government can double power output without raising tariffs: Piyush Goyal

Power and Coal Minister Piyush Goyal. (Source: PTI) Power and Coal Minister Piyush Goyal. (Source: PTI)
Press Trust of India | New Delhi | Posted: July 3, 2014 5:30 pm | Updated: July 3, 2014 8:22 pm

Eyeing a quick-fix to blackouts, Power and Coal Minister Piyush Goyal on Thursday said the government is working on innovative methods that can help more than double electricity generation to 2 trillion units without raising tariffs.

India faced a peak power shortfall of 6,103 megawatts, or 4.5 per cent of the requirement of 1,35,918 MW last fiscal, he said, adding that rationalising fuel linkages and sorting out transmission and distribution issues can solve the problem.

Meanwhile, Goyal was at The Indian Express office at the Idea Exchange. Here are the few highlights:

In an interview, Goyal said the demand for power is legitimate and good quality electricity at reasonable prices should be made available to the end consumer.

“We did about 900 billion units last year and we can do at least 2 trillion units of power generation with existing assets commissioned or soon to be commissioned,” he said.

The doubling of power generation can be done without burdening the consumer with a higher electricity tariff.

Goyal, who took charge of the ministries a month ago, said, “Ya, I am quite sure,” when asked whether this is possible without hiking electricity charges.

Supply of coal, the fuel most used to generate electricity, needs to be rationalised by allocating it to power plants from the nearest source, he said.

For example, a power plant in Gujarat that ferries coal by rail from Chattisgarh can swap its allocation with NTPC, which depends on imported coal that is shipped through a port in Gujarat.

Similarly, to solve coal quality issues facing power plants, crushing units can be set up at every mine that will ensure no boulders go to electricity stations, he said, adding that orders have been issued for installing crushers at every mine by the end of this year.

“Our focus is sorting out fuel supply issues, focusing investments in transmission and distribution, power supply to agriculture sector,” the minister said. “The bottlenecks can be clearly identified — if you ask me, the biggest one is to think a little out of the box.”

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