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‘Private firms produce cheaper power compared to state-run entities’ says Saurabh Patel

On the power capacity of the state, the energy minister said Gujarat plans to sell 20,000 MW of renewable energy outside the state by 2030.

By: Express News Service | Gandhinagar |
Updated: March 21, 2021 3:45:50 am
State Energy minister newsGujarat Energy Minister Saurabh Patel told the Legislative Assembly on Wednesday that the state government will extend the Kisan Suryoday Yojana to Amreli and Junagadh districts (file)

CLEARING THE air on why the state government buys power from private producers in Gujarat, Saurabh Patel state energy minister told the Assembly Saturday the power from private producers is nearly 55 per cent cheaper than those produced by state-run firms.

“The Gujarat government buys power from 596 players who have signed PPAs (power purchase agreements )with the government. A total of 32,980 million units is being bought by the government. Speaker sir, today the power produced by private players is costing Rs 3.08 a unit, while those produced by the state run units cost Rs 5.43 a unit as our plants are old, coal comes from far off places and transportation costs are more,” said Patel. He was speaking on the budgetary demands for industry, mines and minerals, ports, energy and petrochemicals. “If I am getting power at Rs 3.08 per unit, why would I run the power plants to produce power that will cost Rs 5.43 a unit?” the minister added.

On the power capacity of the state, the energy minister said Gujarat plans to sell 20,000 MW of renewable energy outside the state by 2030.“As on today, we have 19,315 MW of conventional power capacity, 12,266 MW of renewable energy. In next two years, we have targeted to increase renewable energy capacity to 20,000 MW. By 2025, we will reach 40,856 MW and by 2030 we have targeted to have renewable energy capacity of 67,356 MW of which 20,000 MW will be sold outside the state,” he said.

Talking about solar rooftop projects, the minister said Gujarat with 943 MW accounts for 22 per cent of the total share in the country. Claiming the Centre has given maximum assistance to Gujarat as subsidy of Rs 1,500 crore for solar rooftops in 2020 and 2021, Patel said, “We are buying solar power from households at Rs 2.25 per unit… Solar rooftops have been set up for 1.16 lakh houses and work is on for 79,000 households this year. We have a target of three lakh houses.”

Stating that under the Electricity Amendment Rule 2020, the Government of India has recently made changes to the rules regarding gross metering, Patel said, “The changes in rules for net metering and gross metering has been done by the GoI. They are thinking and analysing the same (after representations were made by MSME sector) as under the changed rules, the consumer is expected to benefit.”

“In Gujarat 24 per cent of the solar rooftops have loads of 2-3 kw (kilowatts). About 46 per cent share 3-4 Kw, 12 per cent share 4-5 kw about 10 percent is of 5-6 Kw and only 0.39 percent. We do not want to make rules for 0.30 percent entities. We want to make rules for the poor and for the common man,” said Patel.

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