Cheap power must be balanced with green energy, says Goyal

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 24, 2018 Published on March 27, 2015

Piyush Goyal

Domestic resources must be harnessed to address energy security

Piyush Goyal, Minister for Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy, said cheap power has to be balanced with green power. Making energy affordable and reliable for users, has been a challenge so far, he said.

At a session on ‘Global Dependence and Energy Security’ at Urja Sangam – 2015, Goyal said one way to address the problem of energy security is by strengthening it by harnessing and utilising domestic resources such as coal, sun and wind. Innovative financial systems can also help in making energy affordable, Goyal said citing the example of LED (Light Emitting Diode) bulbs. The first LED lamp made in India in 2010 was sold for ₹1,200.  The Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), under the Power Ministry, initiated a systematic process to exploit the energy-saving potential of LEDs to bring them into large-scale use. Together with EESL (Energy Efficiency Services Litd, a joint venture of four power sector central PSUs), BEE worked with electricity distribution companies to develop a business model under which EESL procures LED bulbs in bulk and sells them to households at ₹10 instead of the market price of ₹400 a piece.

Electricity distribution companies then repay EESL over a period of 5- 8 years from the savings that accrue due to use of this energy-efficient lighting technology. Since September 2014, bulk purchases have seen costs drop from ₹215 to ₹149, to ₹102, and last month it was ₹81.93 a bulb, he added. With larger production capacities getting created in India, along with standardisation and awareness generation, bulk public procurement can also spur demand and lead to price reduction, he said.  Goyal said that a couple of days ago, the government decided to help revive stranded gas-based power plants by use of imported gas. “This will put the power plants back in operation, rejuvenate the sector, provide spinning reserves and unlock the stuck capital. Besides, gas is cleaner than other fuels,” he said, adding that he hopes that Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas will continue to complement his Ministry.

On coal, which is the main fuel for power generation in the country, Goyal said, efforts are on to ramp up domestic production. Coal India is already doing the needful, and supplemented by the auctioned and allocated coal blocks to other entities the government expects the coal production of the country to cross 1.5 trillion tonne in the next five years.

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Published on March 27, 2015
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