Millennium Post

Providing affordable power 24X7 our primary goal: Power Minister

Raipur: "The demand for power will continue to grow at a rapid pace going forward, thanks to rising per capita consumption. We have already added 26.6 million new consumers and they will also contribute to the increase in demand. Currently, renewable power accounts for 10 per cent of generated power and this percentage will only increase in the coming years," said R K Singh, Minister of State with Independent Charge for Power and New & Renewable Energy, while Inaugurating the 9th edition of NTPC O&M-India Power Station (IPS) 2020 conference today at Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay auditorium in Raipur.

He further added, "While blending of renewable will continue to happen at a sustainable pace, we should not compromise with our primary goal of providing affordable power on sustained basis 24 by 7. This can be done by adopting newer forms of technology. As the demand for power grows, only those companies that remain competitive and can produce and supply power at low cost will survive in the future."

The two day annual event is organised by the country's largest power producer, NTPC Ltd, to commemorate the synchronization of NTPC's first 200 MW unit at Singrauli on the same day in 1982.

Vivek Kumar Dewangan, Joint Secretary (Thermal), Prakash Mhaske, Chairperson Central Electrical Authority (CEA), Gurdeep Singh, CMD NTPC, Saptarshi Roy, Director (HR), A K Gupta, Director (Commercial), Prakash Tiwari, Director (Operations) and A K Gautam, Director (Finance), Senior Officials of Chhattisgarh Government and other NTPC Senior Officials were present at the conference.

R K Singh also wondered why there is a movement in India against public sector units, which have laid the foundation of the country's growth.

The market itself is a good regulator but it can also lead to huge profit taking. So the market system is balanced by the presence of a strong PSU, he said.

"For a long time there is movement against the public sector (undertakings). I have seen that because I have been in service for many years," the bureaucrat-turned-politician said.

"Wherever I go I find that the public sector is occupying a large segment in different sectors, including power. Right now I will not talk about privatisation of Air India etc, but (when) I go abroad and I see that most of the airlines are owned by the governments," he said.

"I don't know why there is a movement here in our country against public sector," Singh said, adding that PSUs have been responsible for laying the foundation of the growth of India.

"When there was nothing there was public sector... We did not come here out of choice, we came here because there was nobody else. It does not mean when other people are setting up power plants the government has to exit. No, I don't believe that that is correct.

"That is an aspect which I think we need to talk about and we need to say because there is a lobby out there (which) keeps talking against public sector and keeps talking about privatisation, which I don't support," he added.

Speaking on the power sector, Singh said the government will not compromise with the basic goal of providing affordable energy to people, but will also take care of the environment.

"The developed world (countries) have per capita income and per capita energy consumption more than our country... they are responsible for 95 per cent of the carbon load which is there in environment, not us," the minister said.

"We are not going to shut our thermal power plants just because you (developed nations) have been polluting at some high rate... But as far as our responsibility towards environment is concerned, we definitely feel that we are responsible for keeping our emissions in check. That is why we have announced the target that by 2022, we will achieve 175 GW of renewable energy capacity and going on from there to 450 GW," he said.

The minister also asserted that power plants flouting the environmental norms will be shut.

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