Sunday, 22 April 2012

Power Minister Reassures international Community about Power Sector Reforms in India

Minister of Power Shri Sushilkumar Shinde has reassured the international community about the conducive policy environment and an enabling regulatory framework that exist in India, to secure a sustainable energy future. He was addressing the World Energy Leaders Summit in Istanbul in Turkey. Touching upon the theme of the meeting, “Overcoming the Energy trilemma to secure prosperity”, Shri Shinde said every national government has to face three main energy policy challenges which it has to address effectively including security of energy supply; social equity and access to affordable modern energy which should also be environmentally sustainable. 

Stating that a common vision for the energy sector was developed by the Indian Government in 2008 itself through the adoption of Integrated Energy Policy, the Minister said that it covered all sources of energy and addressed all aspects of energy use and supply including energy security, access and availability, affordability and pricing, as well as efficiency and environmental concerns. He said though India is the 5th largest energy consumer in the world, its per capita primary energy consumption is only 580 kgoe against the world average of 1800 kgoe. He pointed out that the energy requirement in India is expected to grow in the coming years and it is projected that India would become the 3rd largest energy consumer by 2020 after the USA and China. The Minister said a two pronged strategy has been adopted to meet this challenge by augmenting the domestic sources of supply including renewable energy and by placing emphasis on demand side management and energy efficiency measures. 

Shri Shinde said that the domestic capacities for building power plants with super critical and ultra-super critical technologies are also being established to reduce the coal requirement of electricity production. He shared that the international majors like Mitsubishi, Toshiba, Hitachi, Alstom and Ansaldo have already started the process of partnering with Indian manufacturers to set up Super Critical Manufacturing facilities in India. 

The Minister elaborated on the initiatives taken in the area of renewable energy and said that 20,000 MW of solar power is targeted by 2022. He said that the State Electricity Regulatory Commissions (SERCs) are mandating a minimum Renewable Purchase Obligations (RPOs) to Discoms and a mechanism of trading of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) through power exchanges has also started working in India. On the measures undertaken by India to increase energy efficiency Shri Shinde said the Government National Mission on Enhanced Energy Efficiency was launched in 2008 and as a result of energy conservation efforts avoided generation capacity of 10GW has been achieved in the last 5 years. Shri Shinde informed about the initiatives such as Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojna (RGGVY) to extend access of electricity to all households. 

Stating that though India has not created the problem of climate change as on a per-capita basis, India is one of the lowest Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emitters in the world with emission of 1.37 tonnes of CO2 equivalent per capita in 2009 which was nearly one-fourth of the corresponding global average of 4.29 tonnes, Shri Shinde assured that India stands ready to be a part of the solution. He said India has already announced that it will reduce the emissions intensity of its GDP by 20-25 percent over the 2005 levels by the year 2020 through pursuit of proactive policies. The Minister welcomed the delegates to the World Energy Leaders Summit to be hosted by India in February next year. 

Shri Shinde is on a visit to the USA and Turkey to enhance India’s international cooperation in power sector. 

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