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Record power capacity addition at 22,566 MW in one year

Piyush Goyal

New Delhi: Buoyed by the lowest-ever power deficit at 3.6 per cent on the back of 22,566 MW capacity addition, Coal and Power Minister Piyush Goyal today said the stage has been set for energy security by ‘Team India’ for 50 years.

During the past one year, the minister said, 22,566 MW of generation capacity was added to the existing level and there has been highest-ever increase in transmission line capacity of 22,100 circuit kilometres over and above the highest jump in sub-station capacity of 66,554 MW.

Reeling off achievements of the NDA government during its first year, Goyal said transparent coal auctions, corruption-free governance and de-bureaucratisation, among others, will help the Prime Minister’s vision of 24X7 affordable power to all become a reality.

“A Rs 38,000-crore green energy corridor is being set up to transmit renewable energy” and clean energy will be prioritised with 25 solar parks of about 100 MW each, Goyal said while unveiling the blueprint for growth.

Speaking to reporters, he said, “We have a plan to scale up the solar mission to 1,00,000 MW by 2022, which is 3,000 MW at present. It is a 33 times increase.”

He said 17 solar parks have already been approved and are fast-tracked and added that the government is confident of offering 15,877 MW of solar generating capacity for implementation. Also, the government is working on encouraging educated unemployed youth to set up solar units aggregating 20,000 MW of capacity.

Welcoming FDI, he said, “We are also considering dollar tariffs in some cases to encourage foreign investment to come in and hedging against their debt or capital in dollars, which will help us keep the cost of solar power very reasonable.”

He added, “Of course, we will be creating a self-hedging mechanism to ensure it does not cause any distress to purchasing discoms and that self-purchase mechanism is being worked out right now. We are confident that all these will provide employment to about 50,000 youth.”

Talking about state-owned Coal India, Goyal said it produced a record 32 million tonnes (MT) of dry fuel and is looking at 100 MT by 2020 while the country’s total output is pegged at 150 MT.

The future plans of the government include raising renewable energy capacity by more than five times to 1,75,000 MW by 2022, five ultra-mega power plants totaling 20,000 MW, reduction in peak load shortages through revival of stranded gas-based power plants, Rs 1.09 lakh crore investment in sub-transmission and distribution and Rs 1 lakh crore of new transmission projects to be bid out in the current year, he said.

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