Power and New & Renewable Energy Minister R K Singh on Thursday said that the ministry will place before the Parliament amendments made to the Electricity Act, including the penalty for non-compliance of renewable purchase obligations (RPOs).

Speaking at the India Energy Transition Summit 2022, Singh emphasised on the government’s efforts to promote renewable energy (RE). He pointed out that the amendments, including on RPOs will be placed in Parliament in the upcoming session.

Separate RPOs for wind energy

“Besides RE, we will also come out with more incentives to increase green hydrogen. output Also, a separate RPOs will be floated for wind energy as it is more expensive than solar power,” he added.

Power Secretary Alok Kumar said that expanding the central electricity grid is the key to adoption of renewable energy in the country and grid extension initiatives shall remain a key focus area for the government going ahead.

Coal to be backbone for next two decades

Power generation through coal is expected to be the backbone of energy generation in India for the next 20 years, he added.

Coal Secretary A K Jain pointed out that energy generation through renewable energy is saving around 7 lakh tonnes of coal everyday, aiding in reducing pressure on mining PSUs to meet supplies.

Power consumption

The Minister noted that the country’s power consumption is breaking records and that demand will not revert to the 160 gigawatt (GW) pre-Covid levels. “It’s not going back to 160 GW. The new baseline is 205 GW and it will go up from there and not come down,” he added.

India’s power consumption breached all past records to hit a record 210.8 GW on June 9. During the first nine days of June, India’s peak power demand during the day surpassed the 200 GW-mark, a record seven times. On June 8, as well, the peak demand was at 209.8 GW, higher than the April peak.

On a day-to-day basis, power demand is around 40,000-45,000 MW more than the same period last year. Energy consumption has also gone up from 3,500 MU on an average to 4,500 MU during the same period, the Minister said.

Singh stressed that the country is not facing any shortage in energy production and power plants are running at around 50 per cent capacity or plant load factor.