LED lights to help India save $2 billion: Minister Goyal
“The plan is to cut down energy demand by nearly 10,000 MW in peak hours by changing to LED lights in street and homes by 2019. This itself will save power to the tune of US 2 billion,” Goyal said in a question and answer session with Facebook users. Apart from this, the government is focusing on star rated appliances and improving industrial energy efficiency for an overall saving of about 100 billion units a year, that is 10 <g data-gr-id="37">per cent</g> of country’s current consumption, he said.
“I hope to utilise these savings to power the homes of 280 million Indians deprived of energy access, sadly, 67 years after independence,” Goyal said. Apart from lowering LED lights prices, Goyal said the government is taking steps to boost rooftop solar power production. “We are hoping to scale the demand for rooftop solar and in the next seven years - we have plans to roll out 40,000 MW for rooftop solar, which is massive. Concurrently, we will start procurement through reverse bidding which should help bring down the prices. To what extent the prices will come down, I cannot say at this point,” he said.
On forecast of a deficient monsoon, the Minister said, “Obviously a deficient monsoon is a matter of concern to all policymakers. We are preparing ourselves to increase coal-based power generation significantly, just like we did last year due to delayed monsoon, so that it can compensate for the lower hydel power and meet the increased demand of <g data-gr-id="52"><g data-gr-id="51">a agrarian</g> pumps</g> to provide water.” Further, based on the need assessment in different areas, supplementary public works will be initiated to provide alternate employment, he said adding fortunately, the food stocks are at comfortable levels. On huge transmission loss, Goyal said the problem was more <g data-gr-id="54">sever</g> in eastern and northern parts.
“In states like Bihar, it’s upwards of 40 <g data-gr-id="47">per cent</g>. We have started two new schemes for rural and urban areas focused on upgrading the T&D infrastructure by feeder segregation of <g data-gr-id="48">powerlines</g> to farms, extensive metering along transmission corridors, smart meters, and advanced communication systems to integrate consumption data with billing so that we can address this problem of power theft and distribution losses,” he said. Goyal also said <g data-gr-id="43">government</g> is taking comprehensive steps to check coal mafia operating in mines including installation of CCTVs to boost <g data-gr-id="44">output</g> especially in eastern region mines.
In reply to a query about taking strong steps to stop coal mafia in Jharkhand and Bihar, Goyal said it is “not an easy job though”. A pilot programme has been launched at a coal mine, where GIS mapping of the entire mine area has been introduced besides putting GPRS system on entire process and installing CCTV cameras, computerised automated way bridges, and several such technological interventions, he said.
“The results so far are encouraging and have brought transparency. We are scaling it up to top 30-40 mines, which account for 75 <g data-gr-id="32">per cent</g> of Coal India output. All of this is going to be up on the website. At some stage, I am visualising a live feed from these cameras and technology for the public to view,” Goyal said.
Electricity price touch Rs 2.62/unit in May
Notwithstanding higher demand for power seen in many parts of the country, the average cost of electricity sold on the IEX stood at just Rs2.62 per unit last month. In May, the volume of electricity traded on the bourse rose to 2,891 million units, compared to 2,463 MUs recorded in the previous month. IEX, a leading exchange for trading of electricity, said <g data-gr-id="73">price</g> of power continued to remain low in May. “The MCP was Rs2.62 per unit (in May) two per cent below the last month’s price... The daily average cleared volume in May was 93 MUs,” it said in a statement.