Rs3 per unit to be benchmark price for power in medium term: Goyal

The government is looking at Rs 3 per unit as the benchmark price for power from all energy sources like thermal, solar and wind in the medium term.

The government's aim is to ensure power at Rs 3 per unit irrespective of source in the medium term, Power Minister Piyush Goyal said at the annual session of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). As per a statement issued by the CII after the session, Goyal assured that there is no proposal to increase tariffs for farmers.

Goyal stated that 100GW of stranded and stressed assets have been revived through policy reforms and resource mobilisation. Power demand has increased by 6.5% last fiscal, even as India became power surplus for the first time. The DDU Gram Jyoti Yojana has reached 75% target to electrify 18452 villages, Goyal said in the statement

The minister further said that two years of coal reforms have led to surplus supply for power plants and now focus is on ensuring better domestic coal quality and re-engineering processes so that legacy imported coal-based plants can use indigenous supply.

He stated that short-term reduction in plant load factors or capacity utilisation is due to stagnant generating units coming online and increasing capacity. India has seen a 370% growth in renewable-based generation capacity in the past three years. Well-organised and transparent competitive bidding processes have driven tariffs for solar and wind below Rs 3/unit, he said.

He stated that with reducing costs and the opportunity to build capacity in EPC services, offshore wind may be taken up for pilot studies through NTPC. India will experiment with offshore wind power projects and, if found promising, will have state-owned power producers committed to expanding their clean energy portfolio take bigger bets in the segment, said Piyush Goyal, minister of state with independent charge of mines, power, coal and new and renewable energy.

While the share of clean energy in the electricity sector will be expanded, the government is taking steps to improve the quality of the coal mined in the country and is looking at redesigning imported coal-based power plants to run on local coal, the minister said.
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