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Millennium Post

Power issues back on agenda

These issues were in various domains, dogging us for a long time, and were also ignored. Almost suddenly since last two years, the power sector has speeded up developing some of these domains.

The dogging issues are: How fast and best to exploit the resources of Renewable Energy, and develop enough electricity thereof. How to fix the cost paradigm? Whether subsidies of electricity would be wound up? Whether or not special paradigms be created to ensure fuels like coal, oil and gas for generation of power? How fast to start manufacturing the basic materials for renewable energy modules?

Speakers in three back to back conferences this month, convened by the power ministry in collaboration with 5th World Energy Congress (WEC), National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) and Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) have projected these issues in clear terms, yet the picture is one of confusion about how the generation problems would come to a logical end.

Besides fuels, a number of reformatory issues, such as need for power tariff revision, removal of anomalies and/or abuse of subsidised power support mechanism, and woes about electricity generation explain the policy confusion.

In a slowered economy as on date, it only means that the transition in the concept of types of power generation has only started. The time spent in about two decades after the beginning of the reform moves it seems was not enough. Therefore the new policies expressed in these conferences have only intensified the confusion.

Even after the message of power sector reforms effected in results like Public private partnership (PPP) model, Bhagidari, the Electricity Act 2003, Accelerated Power Development Reform Programmes, and the Restructured Power Development Reform Programmes, the government concentrated more on traditional sources of power (thermal and hydro), the India’s thrust for power begins with the thermal and also ends with it.

Complacent claims in conferences only aired the policies regulating how effectively fuels should be made available to thermal plants, but not how resources and funds should be ameliorated to intensify alternative energy profile of the country, should the fuel supply fail the plants’ capacities. No wonder then, new and renewable energy minister Farooq Abdullah, would touch hearts when spoke on the concluding day of the 5th WEC: ‘Time has come. Find out areas we should go farther, so that when we meet again next year we can tell us what your suggestions have done. That’s, how to work together. Work to free this world from the grapple of the fossil fuels. Sixty five years of Independence, yet 40 per cent of people don’t have clean drinking water, enough public hospitals, schools, electricity. So please help us to achieve the goal of Renewable Energy in a big way.’

The ministry of new and renewable energy estimates to generate 3000 giga watt of power from renewable energy sources like solar, wind, hydro and biomass. (IPA)
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