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The government will take major policy initiatives to boost hydro power generation, improve the transmission network and further accelerate the use of energy-efficient LED bulbs, which are now selling in such large volumes that their prices have crashed below Rs 60, power, coal and renewable energy minister Piyush Goyal said.
Consumers have gained enormously from the LED lighting programme as it reduces their monthly electricity bill significantly, while prices of such products have crashed, he said at a conference organized at the launch of the energy portal ETEnergyworld.com
The minister said his government was determined to resolve legacy issues that have choked India's energy sector. He said the government had already tackled the shortage of coal, which had plagued the thermal power sector.
Power secretary P K Pujari, coal secretary Anil Swarup and renewable energy secretary Upendra Tripathy said in separate sessions at the launch of the energy portal that the days of fuel scarcity were over and the country was now faced with the problem of plenty.
"Earlier I was pressurised for coal deficit, now for surplus... I have coal, I have rakes, I don't have demand," Swarup said. Pujari said the country has about 25,000-mw of idle and underutilised electricity generation capacity as private companies set up power plants in anticipation of high prices. Industry leaders such as GMR Energy chairman GBS Raju, Lanco chairman Madhusudhan Rao, Suzlon chairman Tulsi Tanti and Sterlite Grid vice-chairman Pratik Agrawal told the minister at a breakfast meeting that the energy sector would make rapid progress if efficient transmission and distribution along with a stable grid was ensured.
Solar energy entrepreneurs including ReNew Power chairman Sumant Sinha, Hero Future Energies chairman Rahul Munjal also highlighted the importance of efficient distribution and transmission as well as grid stability.
The government was determined to resolve all issues in the sector, Goyal said, while addressing industry leaders which also included Tata Power Solar CEO Ashish Khanna, First Solar country head Sujoy Ghosh, Fortum India MD Sanjay Aggarwal and Adani group's CEO for renewable energy Jayant Parimal.
Sinha sounded a note of caution for entrepreneurs. He said a lot of renewable energy companies are keen on selling their plants after bagging them through aggressive bids. He said this may affect the project implementation and decrease the appetite for new projects in primary market.
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