Union minister urges states/UTs to fast-tract power sector reforms

The electricity demand in the country is set to double in next decade and necessary capital investment, estimated over ₹50 lakh crore across power generation, transmission and distribution will be required to cater such demand

power sector reforms

Udaipur (Rajasthan): Union power minister RK Singh on Saturday urged the state governments to fast-track power sector reforms and ensure institutional interventions to achieve the goal of carbon neutrality by year 2070.

Addressing the valedictory function of the two-day conference of power ministers of the states and union territories (UTs) at Udaipur, Singh said that renewable energy deployment is central to achieve the target to reach 500 GW of non-fossil installed capacity by 2030 as per commitment of the nation towards achieving climate change goals.

Fast-track RE projects

Earlier during the conference, power ministers of different states and UTs highlighted the achievements in the past few years in renewable energy (RE) sector, deliberated on policy, regulatory and institutional interventions required for fast-track implementation of renewable energy projects.

The Union minister, however, emphasised that the states should support to achieve the non-fossil installed capacity objectives of GoI. Emphasis was also laid on creating enabling framework to enhance domestic manufacturing capacity in RE sector through various incentive measures.

States suggest steps to ensure 24×7 power supply.

During the conference, detailed deliberations were held with focus on financial viability & sustainability of distribution sector, modernization & upgradation of power systems, and development of power systems to ensure 24×7 power supply including investment requirement & power sector reforms. The states provided their inputs and suggestions on each of these pertinent issues.

Also Read: ‘Promote start-ups to help India achieve 500GW non-fossil energy target’

Considering the critical role of distribution sector in ensuring financial and operational sustainability across the power sector value chain, it was emphasized to take effective steps towards reduction of aggregate technical and commercial (AT&C) losses, ensuring cost reflective tariffs, accounting of subsidy & timely payment of subsidy by state governments, clearance of outstanding dues of state government departments and adherence to Electricity (Late Payment Surcharge and Related Matters) Rules, 2022 (LPS Rules) for timely payment of dues to generating companies etc.

Steps in to cut AT&T losses

For reduction of AT&C losses, it was agreed to expedite deployment of prepaid smart metering for consumers and system metering for establishing energy accounting systems. It was also agreed that subsidy for various category of consumers shall be provided only on per unit basis on actual energy consumption. Overall it was noted that there has been substantial progress made in the steps being taken to improve the viability of the power systems.

Also Read: Jharkhand pollution panel to meet industry bodies on Carbon Neutrality

Most of the states have already submitted their respective action plan under revamped distribution sector scheme (RDSS) to improve financial and operational efficiency of their distribution companies (DISCOMs).

Step up solar rooftop deployment

All efforts and policies should be focused towards providing better services to the electricity consumers. States should endeavour to deploy solar rooftop systems expeditiously to ensure meeting the overall target of 40 GW. States were also encouraged to accelerate solarization under PM KUSUM scheme.

Also Read: NTPC augments its solar footprint, achieves 69454 MW installed capacity

To ensure future energy security, implementation of energy storage including BESS and pumped storage hydro projects should be taken up on priority. Future technologies including green hydrogen, off shore wind, off grid and decentralized renewable energy (DRE) applications need to be adopted.

Power reforms needs ₹50 lakh cr investment

Ensuring 24×7 reliable electricity supply is critical to ensure socio-economic development of the country. The electricity demand in the country is set to double in next decade and necessary capital investment, estimated over ₹50 lakh crore across power generation, transmission and distribution will be required to cater such demand. It is therefore essential to source funding for these investments from multiple sources.

Also Read: NHPC, DVC tie up to explore setting up hydel & pump storage plants

Attracting large scale investments requires ensuring ease of doing business in the country for effective private sector participation. Moving in this direction, GoI has taken various initiatives like LPS Rules 2022, Electricity (Timely Recovery of Costs due to Change in Law) Rules 2021, Electricity (Promoting RE through Green Energy Open Access) Rules, 2022, introduction of RTM, GTAM and GDAM in electricity markets.

Krishan Pal Gurjar, minister of state for power, deputy CMs/ power/NRE Ministers of states along with principal secretaries of states and UTs attended the event.

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