The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi addressed a webinar for consultation towards effective implementation of Union Budget provisions in the power and renewable energy sector. Union MoS (I/C) for Power and New and Renewable Energy; stakeholders and sectoral experts of the power sector, representatives of industries and associations, MDs of DISCOMs, CEOs of state nodal agencies for renewable energy, consumer groups and senior officials of the Ministry of Power and Ministry of New and Renewable Energy were also present during the event.
The Prime Minister said that energy sector plays a big role in the progress of the country and contributes to both ease of living and ease of doing business. The Webinar, the Prime Minister said, is an indication of trust between the government and private sectors and an attempt to find ways for quick implementation of the budget announcement for the sector.
The Prime Minister said that the government’s approach for the sector has been holistic and four mantras have guided the approach i.e Reach, Reinforce, Reform and Renewable energy. For reach, last mile connectivity is needed. This reach needs to be reinforced by installation capacity, for that reforms are needed. Along with all this renewable energy is the demand of the time, said the Prime Minister.
Elaborating further, the Prime Minister said that for reach, the Government is focused on reaching every village and every household. With regard to capacity reinforcement, India has become a power surplus country from power deficit country. In recent years, India has added 139 Giga Watts capacity and reached the goal of one nation-one grid-one frequency. Reforms like UDAY scheme with issue of 2 lakh 32 thousand crore rupees worth bond were undertaken to improve financial and operational efficiencies. For monetising the assets of the Powergrid, Infrastructure Investment Trust –InvIT was established which will soon be open for investors.
The Prime Minister pointed out that renewable energy capacity has been enhanced two and half time in the last six years. Solar Energy capacity increased by 15 times. This year’s Budget has shown unprecedented commitment towards investment in infrastructure. This is evident in Mission Hydrogen, domestic manufacturing of solar cells and massive capital infusion in Renewable Energy Sector.
Referring to PLI scheme, the Prime Minister informed that high efficiency Solar PV module are now part of PLI scheme and Government is committed to invest 4500 crore rupees in that. He hoped for a massive response to the scheme. Under the PLI Scheme, 10 thousand MW capacity integrated solar PV manufacturing plants will be operationalized with estimated investment of 14 thousand crore rupees. This is likely to increase demand for locally produced materials like EVA, Solar glass, Backsheet, Junction box. “We want to see our companies to become global manufacturing champions, not just to fulfil local demands” said the Prime Minister.
The Government has indicated commitment of additional capital infusion worth 1000 crore in Solar Energy Corporation of India to promote investment in Renewable Energy sector. Similarly, Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency will get additional 1500 crore rupees worth investment.
The Prime Minister also touched upon the efforts to improve Ease of Doing Business in the sector. He asserted that with reforms in regulatory and process framework, outlook towards power sector has improved significantly. The Government treats power as a separate sector not as part of the industry sector. This innate importance of power is the reason for the government’s intense focus on making power available everyone. The Government is also working to remove problems in distribution sector. For this a policy and regulatory framework for DISCOMs is in offing. Consumer should be able to choose his supplier as per performance like any other retail commodity. The Prime Minister also said that work is on to free distribution sector of entry barriers and licencing for distribution and supply. Efforts are underway for prepaid smart meter, feeder separation and system upgradation, the Prime Minister informed.
Shri Modi said, under PM KUSUM scheme, farmers are becoming energy entrepreneurs. The goal is to create 30 GW solar capacity through small plants in the farmers’ fields. Already, 4GW solar capacity is installed through rooftop solar projects, 2.5 GW will be added soon. 40 GW solar power is aimed in next one and half years through Rooftop Solar Projects, The Prime Minister concluded.