Millennium Post

Time to revisit energy policy, asserts Prabhu

“It is a challenge to draw down a new energy policy, considering the changes in the global energy market,” he added. He said that while global crude oil prices are today below $50 per barrel, this may also lead to reduction in the prices of first gas and then coal. “But I am not sure how long the trend will continue.”

Prabhu, however, cautioned that while oil prices are falling, one should also factor in how this would affect renewable energy, which was becoming more and more reasonable when the oil prices had been going up even above $120 per barrel. He agreed with the need to revisit the subsidy part in oil prices, adding that one also needs to study how this should be done in case of renewables.

The minister requested energy experts to come up with recommendations, preferably within two weeks, on how to to cut energy costs in the railways. “I will be very happy if I can cut down energy costs by 20-25 percent in the coming Budget,” he said. “Give me some ideas,” Prabhu appealed.

Diesel and electricity are the major fuels for Railways. The Ministry has already started doing an energy audit to know the details of energy consumption and look at ways to reduce energy cost. The Railway Ministry had sought suggestions from common people regarding the Railway Budget for the next fiscal and the deadline ended on Friday.

Earlier, Oil and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said that the Government is working on a new energy policy which would be transparent and investment-friendly and also provide consumers energy at affordable prices. The conference was also addressed by Power Secretary P K Sinha and several top officials from both public and private sector companies.

Meanwhile, the Odisha Government has agreed to accept the Railway Ministry’s proposal to float a special purpose vehicle (SPV) to expedite several incomplete railway projects in the state.
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