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The conference of Power and Renewable Energy Ministers of State/ UTs was held on 14th and 15th October, 2022 in Udaipur, Rajasthan. Shri R.K Singh , Union Minister for Power and NRE chaired the conference. Shri Krishan Pal Gurjar, Minister of State for Power , Deputy CM/ Power/ NRE Ministers of States along with Principal Secretaries of States and UTs attended the event.
During the Conference, detailed deliberations were held with focus on Financial Viability & Sustainability of distribution sector, Modernization & upgradation of power systems, and Development of Power Systems to ensure 24×7 power supply including investment requirement & Power Sector Reforms.
It was said that Renewable energy deployment is central to achieve the target of net zero by 2070 and to reach 500 GW of non-fossil installed capacity by 2030 as per commitment of the nation towards achieving climate change goals. Highlighting the achievements in the past few years in the Renewable energy sector, deliberations were made on policy, regulatory and institutional interventions required for fast-track implementation of renewable energy projects and states should support to achieve the non-fossil installed capacity objectives of GoI.
Emphasis was also laid on creating enabling framework to enhance domestic manufacturing capacity in RE sector through various incentive measures.
States should endeavour to deploy solar rooftop systems expeditiously to ensure meeting the overall target of 40 GW, was said.
States were encouraged to accelerate solarization under PM KUSUM scheme.
To ensure future energy security, implementation of energy storage including BESS and Pumped Storage Hydro projects should be taken up on priority. Future technologies including Green Hydrogen, Off Shore Wind, Off grid and Decentralized Renewable Energy (DRE) applications need to be adapted.
Also the States provided their inputs and suggestions on each of these pertinent issues.
Considering the critical role of distribution sector in ensuring financial and operational sustainability across the power sector value chain, it was emphasized to take effective steps towards reduction of Aggregate Technical and Commercial (AT&C) losses, ensuring cost reflective tariffs, accounting of subsidy & timely payment of subsidy by state governments, clearance of outstanding dues of State Government departments and adherence to Electricity (Late Payment Surcharge and Related Matters) Rules, 2022 (LPS Rules) for timely payment of dues to generating companies etc. For reduction of AT&C losses, it was agreed to expedite deployment of Prepaid Smart Metering for consumers and System Metering for establishing energy accounting systems. It was also agreed that subsidy for various category of consumers shall be provided only on per unit basis on actual energy consumption. Overall it was noted that there has been substantial progress made in the steps being taken to improve the viability of the power systems.
Ensuring 24×7 reliable electricity supply is critical to ensure socio-economic development of the country. The electricity demand in the country is set to double in next decade and necessary capital investment, estimated over INR 50 lakh Cr., across power generation, transmission and distribution will be required to cater such demand. It is therefore essential to source funding for these investments from multiple sources.
Attracting large scale investments requires ensuring ease of doing business in the country for effective private sector participation. Moving in this direction, GoI has taken various initiatives like LPS Rules 2022, Electricity (Timely Recovery of Costs due to Change in Law) Rules 2021, Electricity (Promoting RE through Green Energy Open Access) Rules, 2022, Introduction of RTM, GTAM and GDAM in electricity markets.
The Union Minister sought the cooperation from the States in achieving the ambitious goals that are set before the power sector.