Millennium Post

Power generation growth up 9.5% so far in 2016: Goyal

Power generation growth has risen to 9.5 per cent this year so far, as against 5.65 per cent during the 10-year period from 2004 to 2014, Power Minister Piyush Goyal said on Monday. The power generation growth was recorded at 5.65 per cent between 2004 to 2014, 5.02 per cent in 2012-14, 7.03 per cent in 2014-16 and 9.5 per cent in 2016-till date, Goyal tweeted on Monday.

Goyal also said there was 87 per cent reduction in energy shortage in just two years to 14 million units (mu), from 110 million units earlier. According to Vidyut Pravah application to monitor power demand on the basis of data provided by states, the electricity deficit came down to 14 mu in July this year from 110 mu in the same month in 2014 and 62 mu in 2015.

Goyal also tweeted that power was available at rates below Rs 2 per unit yesterday at exchanges across the country with no network congestion. "This reflects country moving towards One nation, One grid, One price," he said.

According to the application, power was available at Rs 1.8 per unit yesterday in most states, including Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab, Delhi, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Odisha. The document indicated that the power is available across the country at Rs 2.31 per unit in most states.

As of Monday morning, the surplus power of 3,961 mw was available for states to meet their demand today. The total demand of 123 GW was met today compared with 112 GW yesterday, as per the data provided by the states.

Meanwhile, terming India as a "promising" market for renewable energy, Suzlon group Chairman Tulsi Tanti said the sector is "demanding" too, with tariffs going below Rs 5 per unit that can impact economic viability of companies. The founder of India's leading wind turbine maker said there is some reluctance from banks to finance projects as there are fears that lower tariffs can lead to payment delays.

"Tariffs have to be at a level so that internal rate of return (IRR) is minimum 14 per cent and for that, I think tariff has to be a minimum Rs 5 per unit. There can be issues with the project's economic viability. They can become economically unviable," Tanti told reporters here.

His reply came in response to queries on declining tariffs in renewable energy (RE) projects — solar and wind — and their financial viability. Suzlon has its rotor blades manufacturing facility in Bhuj and maintains sites for some of its clients.

"Lower IRR and profits can impact a utility's capability to make payments. Then, there is also the cost factor," he explained. Experts say there are also issues related to grid integration and changing weather conditions that can lead to varying and unpredictable power generation.

Tanti, however, said the Indian market is "very promising and demanding" as government has a target of 175 GW of renewable energy by 2022, of which 60 GW is wind power. "Indian market will continue to grow by 30 per cent," he noted, adding that to achieve such a huge target, the industry needs technology upgradation to counter lower tariffs and at the same time, grow generation capacity at a competitive cost.

Tanti is of the view that firms should invest in technological upgradation and go for cost optimisation to counter declining tariff impacting margins.

Explaining the rationale, he said: "Now the best sites are exhausted and we need to utilise low wind sites. We need to keep in mind the declining tariff. PPA tariffs are going below Rs 5. Because of these two challenges, it is important for us to invest in technology to make projects viable."
He added: "That's why we have developed the S97 120 m wind turbine. S97 2.1 MW is the world's tallest all-steel hybrid tower with a hub-height of 120 m above ground level and has achieved a 35 per cent plant load factor (PLF)." 

It increases energy output by around 12-15 per cent over other turbines of same capacity at a height of 90 m, he added. The group has developed the S111 120-m hybrid tower which can have a PLF of almost 40 per cent.

"So, we are investing in technology to increase power generation as well as utilise low wind sites so that our projects are economically viable even if tariffs go below Rs 5 per unit," he noted. Suzlon has its research and development centres in Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands and India and has recently opened a Blade Science Center in Vejle in Denmark.

 The Pune-headquartered group has installations of around 15.5 giga watt (GW) spread across 17 countries, of which India accounts for the lion's share of about 9.5 GW.
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