Millennium Post

Framing special policy to energise hydel power generation, says Goyal

“There are a number of small hydel projects which have been stuck due to various reasons, including regulatory approvals. Our intent is to get them started soon.”

“Therefore, we are planning to formulate a special small hydel power policy to remove the hurdles in implementing such projects,” Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal said here on Thursday.

Calling for a radical change in the way large infra projects are announced, Goyal said it should be ensured that no projects are announced without the necessary approvals and land clearances, and the right of way are in place. “We have to take a conscious decision before starting new projects.
Announcements should be made only after the necessary approvals are in place,” he said.

The Modi government has set an ambitious target for renewable energy over the next five years at 3,000 billion units from the present 53 billion. The overall target is to double generation to 2 trillion units.

The government is also working towards reviving large hydro projects including the 1,200-mw Teesta-III project in Sikkim, which is behind schedule by over two years, the 2,000-mw Shubhamsari project in Arunachal Pradesh, which when completed will be the largest hydel plant in the country, and the 400-mw Maheshwar being put up by SKumar’s group in MP.

“Huge investments have gone into these projects which have now been delayed due to regulatory approvals. The Teesta project is of national importance and we have to support it as much as possible. Investments made by investors, contractors and promoters are stuck. We are sure we will be able to come to a conclusion soon. “Besides, we are also in talks with the MP and Andhra governments for the revival of the stuck hydel projects in their states,” he said. Reiterating the government’s commitment on increasing energy capacity and become a power surplus state in the next five years, Goyal said, “we are looking at nearly $250 billion investments into the sector in the next few years.”

He said there is also a need to rework on the tax regime and regulatory framework to ensure investments come into the country. “There is no dearth of money (with international firms) but we don’t have the capacity to absorb them. They are waiting to come to us. We expect nearly $250 billion investments in all forms of power generation as well as coal,” he said.

To reduce cost of power generation, he said his ministry is in talks with other departments to explore whether plants could be set up at the pit-head where the coal blocks are located.

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