Interview

Policy push in power plus

Record investments in transmission networks will also play a key role. 
UB Reddy, Managing Director, Enerfra Projects (India) Pvt Ltd
  For a nation with decades of power deficit history, achieving surplus is a remarkable achievement in a relatively short time.  However, UB Reddy, Managing Director, Enerfra Projects (India) Pvt Ltd points out, “In many states, supply to rural areas is cut-off for long periods.  Also, some states choose not to purchase power and shed load when cost of purchase is above tariffs. So the underlying demand is likely higher than may appear.” 
CEA’s Load Balance Generation Report 2016-17 points out that the surplus at the national level consists of 6.9 per cent and 3.3 per cent surplus in western and southern regions; and 1.8 per cent, 10.3 per cent, and 8.3 per cent deficit in northern, eastern, and north-eastern regions respectively. “We are hopeful that UDAY scheme will financially turn around the discoms and eliminate these issues. Record investments in transmission networks will also play a key role,” states Reddy.
He adds, “In spite of these caveats, getting to power supply surplus is a remarkable achievement.”
Game ChangerAccording to Reddy, the game changers are: Rapid growth in indigenous coal output leading to consistent fuel stocks and reduced imports, with credit to the Prime Minister for consolidating power and coal ministries, and to Power Minister for removing roadblocks to coal production and, quick action by Prakash Javadekar, former Minister of Environment and Forests, in removing unnecessary roadblocks and red tape for coal production while protecting the environment.
Renewable power onlineSharing information on company’s contribution Reddy briefs, “In our first 12 months of operation, Enerfra Projects has directly contributed to bringing 167MW of renewable power online.  Over the next 12 months, we expect to help bring another 200MW of renewable power online.”
Turnaround storyWhile sharing the company’s turnaround story Reddy pointed out that, under the pre-2014 Ministry of Environment and Forests, renewable energy projects were very oddly placed under ‘Red’ category for environmental clearance.  This used to cause significant delay and cost in approvals. Categorisation of renewable energy in ‘green’ is a big reform, he considers. 
“In summer of 2014, soon after the new government came to power, a renewable industry body raised this issue with Piyush Goyal.  He immediately asked for a note, and by next evening, the Ministry of Environment and Forests led at that time by Prakash Javadekar categorised renewable energy in green category,” he informs.
“In my more than 25 years in the renewable industry in India, I have never seen such rapid and successful action,” he adds. “This sense of urgency by India’s political leadership is highly motivational to the industry and a contributor to achieving power surplus.”

1 Comment

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