Union Minister of State (IC) for Power and New and Renewable Energy, R.K. Singh inaugurated the ‘Indian Power Stations 2018’ – three-day International Conference on Operations and Maintenance, here today. The Minister exhorted the NTPC to become India’s power sector multinational by setting up power plants in other Nations and become world’s largest power producer. Shri Singh also added that there was huge opportunity to export cheap power to neighboring countries which will be beneficial for the entire region.
The Minister said that neighboring countries like Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Nepal, and Bangladesh are viable markets for export of power, where per unit cost of electricity is very high. He added that Ministry of Power would explore the idea of sending teams to these countries to assess the demand for export of power.
Talking about achieving Government’s aim of ‘24×7 Power for All’ Singh said, “If you look at the entire power sector, the demand has been suppressed because not everyone is connected. We have just started taking-off and going to enter double-digit growth. What we see as excess capacity today may not turn out to be enough if we unlock that demand. The unlocking of demand will come but with some constraints. We don’t have a shortage of coal but we need to put in place mechanisms to get coal from underground to overground and to the power stations and we need to do that as soon as possible”.
Further, the Minister added that when all power plants in the country would run at 70-80 percent of PLF, there would be no stressed assets. The problem of stressed assets is there because first, the power plants are not able to get adequate coal and secondly, demand needs to be unlocked.
Sharing his views on the status of renewable energy in the country, Singh said that the progressive realization of low prices of renewable energy is sending wrong signals to the market. The Minister said, “The consumers and institutional companies need to understand that this cheap renewable power by itself is not sufficient and need rebalancing with the support of steady power. This message we need to get across to the people and to DISCOMs”.
Other dignitaries present on the occasion included Ajay Kumar Bhalla, Secretary Power, along with other senior officers of the Ministry and NTPC.