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Home » News » Minister R. K. Singh, stresses power sector’s vital role amid growing demand

Minister R. K. Singh, stresses power sector’s vital role amid growing demand

November 7, 2023 5:47 pm

Minister R. K. Singh, stresses power sector’s vital role amid growing demand
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The Minister affirms commitment to coal-based capacity and equitable coal distribution to meet escalating demand.

The Union Minister for Power and New & Renewable Energy, R. K. Singh, recently convened a meeting with his counterparts from various states and union territories to discuss the burgeoning power demand in India. He emphasised that this surge in power demand reflects the rapid growth of the Indian economy. Speaking at the National Conference of Power and New & Renewable Energy Ministers of States & UTs in New Delhi, Singh underscored the pivotal role of the power sector in driving economic progress, stating, “Economic growth is dependent on the power sector. Power sector is a fundamental driving force in the progress of the nation.”

Addressing the challenges faced, the Minister acknowledged the upcoming COP-28 meeting, where coal reduction is a key focus. He made it clear that India is unwavering in its commitment to ensure a steady power supply for its economic growth, even if it entails expanding coal-based capacity. Simultaneously, the Minister stressed India’s determination to meet its targets set at COP.

Singh highlighted the phenomenal increase in power demand, particularly in August, September, and October 2023, which has grown by 20 percent compared to the previous year. He expressed concern that if peak demand continues to rise, it might become challenging to meet it. To address this challenge, he emphasised the need for all states to operate their power plants at full capacity.

The Minister also emphasized the necessity of adding more capacity, noting that 80,000 MW of thermal capacity is required to meet the growing demand. While the public sector has taken the lead in capacity addition, he expressed confidence that private sector investments will follow, thanks to a more viable system and promising returns.

Singh identified the gap between domestic coal consumption and supply as another challenge, stressing the importance of coal blending. He urged states to engage in coal blending, based on their coal shortages, and emphasised equitable distribution among states.

The Minister emphasised the need for states to establish new power plants near coal belts to avoid logistical issues related to long-distance coal transportation and rake availability.

Regarding the Restructured Distribution System Strengthening (RDSS) programme, Singh called for faster progress in its implementation to bolster the distribution sector. He encouraged states to utilise PM-Kusum to transition agricultural power usage to renewables, reserving coal-based generation for non-solar hours when demand is typically higher.

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