Renewable Energy is the key to energy security in the future: Piyush Goyal
The Dollar Business Bureau
Union Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy and Mines, Piyush Goyal, addressed a distinguished gathering of Industry stalwarts from Energy sector at a media event, ‘Energy Conclave, 2016 – Securing India’s Green Future’, organized on Wednesday.
The Minister noted that India has its own developmental imperatives in the near future, hence it cannot shun the use of fossil fuels completely from its energy basket. It is important to strike a balance between the conventional and renewable sources of energy and rapid societal development & environmental concerns, he added.
He also expressed happiness to see renewable energy taking centre stage in discussions on power sector recently. He noted that it is of prime importance to achieve the goal of ‘One Nation, One Grid, One Price’ at the earliest and create a robust transmission grid network where affordable power is seamlessly available to the common man throughout the nation, at one price.
The Government intends to meet the solar power target of 100 GW by 2022, he informed and that by consistent efforts made by the Government the prices of solar energy have come down by 40% in just 18 months. Moreover, concentrating on other sources of renewable energy, this year has been dedicated to hydro and wind energy and talks with international gas suppliers are on, he added.
Quoting the example of large hydro power projects like Teesta and Subansiri, Goyal expressed concern that these projects have been experiencing severe time and cost over runs in the past due to various issues. He informed that the Government is taking all the required steps to fast track the operationalizing of these projects at the earliest so that investors, both global and domestic, may not receive a negative signal on the prospects of investing in the hydro power sector.
Speaking on the novel initiatives taken in the Coal sector, the Minister informed that the Ministry is collaborating with IITs and research labs abroad to develop state of art technologies like clean coal technology, carbon capture & use, coal to gas & coal bed methane technologies, inter alia. Further, Goyal informed that the Ministry of Power has stopped the repair & maintenance of old thermal power plants and is concentrating on building super critical power plants in the future.
The Minister informed that the Ministry is in talks with PSUs like BHEL, NTPC and other private sector power generators on taking various measures to reduce coal imports and achieving criticality in plants designed to operate on imported coal, by making design modifications to enable the use of abundant domestic reserves of coal.
Goyal also discussed a range of issues like success & challenges in the implementation of UDAY scheme, energy efficiency & cost effectiveness of UJALA LEDs and reinvigorating Ultra Mega Power Projects through coal linkages, among others.
The minister's initiatives, however, garnered adverse reactions from Greenpeace activists who reacted sharply to the minister’s initiatives saying he should apply ‘brakes’ on coal expansion and steer the country towards a responsible renewable future.