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Power sector roadmap to be unveiled by year end

Power sector roadmap to be unveiled by year end
The government is shortly coming out with a comprehensive plan to create a roadmap for power generation, transmission and distribution by 2022, which will spell out policies and implementation strategies which have to be followed to strengthen the power sector in India and make it comparable to the systems in developed countries.

Disclosing this at the CII conference on Transmission and Distribution held here on Friday, Ambuj Sharma, joint secretary, department of heavy industry, Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, said the roadmap will be unveiled before December 31 and intense consultations among the stakeholders are on. Fifty per cent of the state governments have already sent their responses to the plan.

Sharma said the focus of the plan would be on implementation and there will be specific steps for time bound completion of projects. Another important plank of the policy will be skill development in various segments of the power sector in collaboration with National Skill Development Corporation.Mentioning that power sector in India was faced with myriad complex problems, Sharma stated the 12th plan envisaged a quantum jump in all segments of power sector. The growth rate set at 10 per cent would be sufficient to take care of the backlog of the past plans and to meet the unprecedented demand expected during the plan period.

There would be substantive improvements in the production of power generating equipment.

As against the production of equipment to generate 35,000 MW in the 11th plan, current plan set the target of production of equipment for generation of 100,000 MW. There could be strategies  for promotion of equipment exports. Underscoring the need for revamping the power sector in India, Sharma observed that there would be focus on developing inter-regional grid capacity.

From a modest capacity of 200 MW during its inception, 12th plan has set a target of 65-70,000 MW for inter-regional grid capacity. However, he said that grid capacity should go up to make available power adequately across the country.

Riding on the back of heightened expectation for the growth of manufacturing sector, power demand is likely to perk-up in the coming years. Meeting this demand could be through augmentation of generation, strengthening transmission and distribution, conservation and elimination of transmission losses. While there is a shortage of power, power generated in some micro power stations are not evacuated for want ofproper transmission infrastructure, he added.

Deepak Amitabh, CMD, PTC India Ltd, hinted at the formation of a SAARC Power Grid to tap the surplus power generated in the neighbouring countries. Presently, India buys power from Bhutan and to a lesser extent from Bangladesh. With political cordiality improving with Pakistan, one should explore the possibilities of excess power generated in that country.

Similarly, consumers’ open access to power still remains in paper and there is a lot of scope for implementing it in  letter and spirit.

Also, there should be greater focus on application of information technology in all segments of power to promote automation and system efficiency. It is also worthwhile to set up a National Energy Registry to provide open access to customers, he added IA Khan, advisor (energy) to Planning Commission, said that grid development in India is faster and more systematic than in most of the developed countries. For instance, in the US not all regions are linked to grid, whereas national grid is a reality in India.

In this regard, he said that southern region will be connected to the national grid very soon. He also mentioned that additional capacity generated should be compensated. He revealed that smart grid in identified locations are  being developed and in this regard a pilot project is being implemented in  Pudhicherry on an experimental basis. Foreign participation  is sought from countries like Japan.
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