India has witnessed transformational change in the energy sector over the past few years, through supportive policy interventions and sector reforms, making it the fourth largest producer of electricity in the world. However, rapid economic growth has led to a surge in energy demand leading to a grappling power deficit situation in the country. Managing effective sector investment, continuing technological improvements and efficiently implementing the sector programmes will be the key to addressing the sector issues.
The success of key initiatives such as ‘Make in India’, along with growing urbanisation and social uplift of rural India will also depend on the availability of uninterrupted quality electricity supply to consumers. The government’s “Power for All” programme is an ambitious plan, which depends a lot on the development of capacity expansion in power supply chain, developing coal resources and logistics and increasing technological interventions.
According to a CII-PwC report titled Round-the-Clock Power Supply: A Key Milestone for the Indian Power Sector which was launched at CII Energy Conclave 2016 in Kolkata today, availability of power will depend on two factors—adequate electricity generated and development of supporting infrastructure for the supply of electricity.
Mr T V Narendran, Chairman, CII Eastern Region, and Managing Director, Tata Steel Ltd, said, “Electricity is the means to empower. Achieving 100% household electrification will not only enrich the lives of citizens, but will also help in inclusive growth by positively impacting education, awareness, health and economic development in rural and far-flung areas.”
Mr Aniruddha Basu, Chairman, CII Energy Task Force & Managing Director, CESC Ltd, said, “Reform is the need of the day. Several initiatives have been taken to fuel the growth of the sector in the East, including West Bengal, which is one the primary states in India to have introduced and implemented power sector reforms.”
Mr Yogesh Daruka, Partner, Power and Utilities, PwC India said, “Energy access and availability is a key element for socio-economic development. The Government’s ‘Power for All’ programme is an ambitious initiative for providing supply & uninterrupted quality power to unelectrified population by 2019. In East and Northeast India, coal and hydro-based power generation will dominate the generation mix. Inter and intra state transmission system development is also critical along with effective implementation of centrally sponsored schemes like DDUGJY and IPDS.”
Development of Hydro power in the northeast region will be a key driver in improving India’s energy situation. With only seven per cent of the tapped potential (installed capacity and project under construction), the northeast region provides enormous opportunities to the state governments and hydro developers to harness the potential.
Development of the large hydro potential in the northeast region would contribute significantly in meeting the country’s power needs in the future. The region would also benefit from the development of associated social benefits such as roads, schools and electricity supply to remote areas, which would further improve the quality of life.
Achieving the objective of the ‘Power for All’ programme will not be an easy task. But with the improved fuel availability, achieving the target capacity additions well within time, increase in sector investments, and lower tariff for renewable energy projects are encouraging trends that indicate that India can achieve this ambitious plan in the near future.