Millennium Post

12% power from any plant is given to host state free: Goyal

Govt open to exploiting tidal energy for electricity generation, announces minister

As much as 12 per cent of electricity generated in a power project is given to the host state free of cost and the government has no plan to change the rules, Power Minister Piyush Goyal said on Thursday.

When a power plant is set up in a state, the state government provides land and other logistics to facilitate its successful installation. "Host state of a power plant will continue to get 12 per cent free power," Goyal said in Lok Sabha during Question Hour.

The Minister said the proposal for flexibility in utilisation of domestic coal to reduce the cost of power generation has been approved by the Union Cabinet.

This will allow flexibility in utilisation of coal like use of coal aggregated with the states in their own generating stations, use of coal aggregated with the one state in generating stations of other state's utilities, use of coal aggregated with state in central generating stations and vice versa.

Goyal said as per the methodology, state governments can divert their coal and take equivalent power from Independent Power Producer (IPP) generating stations selected from the competing IPPs through an e-bidding process.

"The guiding principle of the methodology is that the landed cost of power from IPP generating station at the state's periphery should be lower than the variable cost of generation of the state generating station whose power is to be replaced by generation from IPP," he said.

Meanwhile, the government is open to exploiting tidal energy for power generation but as the technology is still in a nascent stage, its per unit cost is exorbitant, the Lok Sabha was informed on Thursday.

At present, tidal energy is in the pre-research and development stage and can cost anywhere between Rs 17 to 36 per unit, Power Minister Piyush Goyal said during Question Hour.

Therefore, he said, the government would not like to push people to go for such a costly source of power. But at the same time, the government is open to exploiting tidal energy.

He explained that a five metre base tidal movement is required to exploit tidal energy. It is available in Maharashtra and Gujarat, but not in Tamil Nadu.

Responding to a separate question, the minister said carbon credit was once the outcome of a noble cause, but today the developed world has given it a go-by.

He also said in a bid to promote roof-top solar energy, the government is providing up to 30 per cent subsidy to overcome the high cost. Similar subsidy is also being extended for biogas. But the idea is to move away from subsidy in the coming times, he said.

43 hydro projects under construction: Govt

Forty three hydro-electric projects, with total generating capacity of 11,928 MW, are under construction, the Lok Sabha was informed on Thursday. Out of these 43 projects, 16 are stalled due to financial constraints and other reasons, Power Minister Piyush Goyal said. The total power generation capacity of the 16 projects is 5,163 MW and the anticipated completion cost of these projects would be Rs 52,306 crore while their original cost was Rs 27,027 crore, he said. "As per the calculation made by the Central Electricity Authority, the annual loss of energy generation from these stalled projects is about 15,564 million units," he said during Question Hour. The minister said a panel to monitor power projects, set up by the Ministry of Power, independently follows up and monitors the progress of the hydro projects. He said the CEA monitors the progress of under- construction power projects through frequent site visits and interaction with the developers and equipment suppliers.
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