Govt prepares blueprint on energy security

Govt prepares blueprint on energy security

Govt prepares blueprint on energy security

Aiming to provide adequate supply of electricity to consumers at affordable prices, the Centre has prepared an action plan for energy security including avert blackouts, increase generation capacity, address peak load shortages and revival of stuck gas based power projects. 

The Power Ministry's  blue print on energy security includes strengthening the grid and creating reserve energy to prevent repeat of 2012 grid collapse, reschedule loans to power firms and make fuel available at affordable prices, sources told Deccan Herald.

As the Ministry is working on to increase electricity generation without burdening consumers, Power Minister Piyush Goyal held detailed discussion with Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Wednesday and finalised a package to rescue 16,000 MW of gas-based power plants lying stranded due to shortage of domestic gas. The officials of Power and Petroleum Ministries also expected to meet the Finance Ministry soon to make tariff affordable from these projects.  The package includes pooling of cheaper domestic gas price with costly imported LNG, so that electricity generated from gas based power plants will be cheaper. Besides, the Power Ministry has requested the Finance Ministry to ask the RBI to extend the repayment schedule to 25 years from 10 and reduce interest rates to be base level or even less. 

“We are drawing up plans to increase the generation of power, to put national assets to good use and keep the energy cost affordable with a sustained policy framework,” Power Minister Piyush Goyal said adding that energy security action plan and revival package would be send for cabinet approval.

As per the package, power companies will be supplied domestic and imported gas enough to operate their plants at 40 per cent capacity. Apart from this, additional gas produced in the country in the next four years will be supplied to the power generating firms along with imported liquefied natural gas. State-run GAIL India will be the pool operator, sources said. 

With the several gas-based projects are lying idle due to acute scarcity of domestic gas, banks have cautioned the government that unless these projects were rescued around Rs 50,000 crore worth assets may turn into non-performing assets.

As part of the Centre plans to restructure the power sector, the Union Cabinet recently approved two major projects worth Rs 75, 645 crore in the power sector -Integrated Power Development Scheme (IPDS) with the objective of strengthening of transmission and distribution network and Deendayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY), aimed at round the clock electricity to rural households.