Dismissing doubts on quality of Chinese solar equipment, Power Minister Piyush Goyal on Monday said that India is looking at affordable power and not at the country of its origin, especially when it is imported by private players who ensure quality beforehand.
India imported solar and photovoltaic cells worth about $826 million from China in the first six months of the current fiscal, which is over 87 per cent of the country s total such imports. "We are looking at ensuring that power cost remains affordable in India and within that, as long as quality is maintained in a globally integrated world, we dont see where the equipment comes from," Goyal told reporters when asked about large solar cells orders going to China.
The Minister, while talking to reporters on the sidelines of the 7th India-Japan Energy Forum, further said, "At the same time, we are looking at encouraging Indian manufacturers to expand their scale of operations and bring in the best of technologies."
Asked about the shorter life cycle or durability of Chinese equipment, the Minister replied, "I think the (mobile) phones you are using, may also have been made in China...just bashing a country is not good approach of a good policy maker." Elaborating further he said, "It is the private sector which is buying equipment largerly...private sector knows best and can bring efficiency and best of technologies to play.
Private sector, which has bought this equipment, has ensured its life cycle and quality." India has set an ambitious target of adding 100 GW of solar power generation capacity by 2022. Earlier, Goyal presided over a bilateral meeting with the Japanese delegation led by Economy, Trade and Industry Minister of Japan, Hiroshige Seko. Speaking on the scope of India-Japan cooperation, Goyal said that the forum is a platform to engage with the island nation for mutual benefit in energy sector by working towards bringing Japanese expertise in cutting edge engineering and technology to India. This would help India in enhancing Grid stability, bringing Electric Mobility at affordable prices to the country etc., which the government is vigorously pursuing, he added.
The Minister also informed that during the bilateral meet with his Japanese counterpart, it was put across that India s power demand is going to expand four-fold in the next 15 years.
Goyal also said that India and Japan should cooperate on long-term contracts for LNG with a defined cost of energy which would provide a stabilising factor for the Renewable Energy thrust that India is currently putting.
Power Min to give major thrust to hydro power, says minister
There will be a major thrust on hydro sector by different ways to bring down cost of electricity from this renewable source, Power Minister Piyush Goyal said on Monday. "I shall be going later this week to Arunachal Pradesh also to review some of the power projects. In coming few months, we want to give major thrust by different ways to bring down the cost of hydro power," Goyal said here.
"Hydro power is also renewable energy. We are working on a position paper after studying all international experiences, we will look very seriously to see whether these should be categories as renewable power," the minister said. In the present scenario, the small hydro projects up to 25 MW are treated as renewable energy while others do not get incentives being provided by the government for encouraging clean energy.
New & Renewable Energy Ministry is in the process of drafting a Cabinet proposal to reclassifying large hydro power plants as renewable projects, a move which can help India achieve clean power capacity of 230 GW by 2022.
India has set an ambitious target of adding 175 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2022 which includes 100 GW of solar, 60 GW from wind, 10 GW from bio-power and 5 GW from small hydro-power (up to 25 MW capacity each).
Of the 310 GW installed power generation capacity, 43 GW comes from large hydro projects (above 25 MW) and 46 GW from other renewable power generation capacities.
The minister further said, "We would like to encourage the (hydro power) sector after it is categorised as renewable, speed up the projects, get back all the stalled projects and some support to the hydro sector because it is one sector which gives you sustainable quality power for over 100 years."
The minister commended Tamil Nadu for joining UDAY scheme and expressed hope that Kerala, Sikkim and West Bengal would also join the scheme meant for revival of debt-stressed distribution companies.