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A power-producing company depends on the inter-linked infrastructure — transmission networks, health of distribution utilities, and competitive electricity rates — for its success, said Gurdeep Singh, Chairman and Managing Director, NTPC Ltd.
To make the electricity industry healthy, the regulators need to correct the tariff structure, he told BusinessLine in an interview. “Tariff for the industrial sector needs to come down; otherwise, Discoms will not come out of the stress that they are in. Industries need to be supplied electricity at some kind of competitive rates, which will result in higher demand,” he added.
Currently, the problem is that the peak industrial tariff is very high, he pointed out. According to estimates, industrial tariff currently averages Rs. 7.5-8 a unit, while the tariff for residential units is around Rs. 3.5-4 a unit. “It’s a question of volumes,” he said. On the differences between generators and Discoms, Singh stressed that Discoms are essential to the power company’s existence.
As regards NTPC’s efforts to meet environment commitments as most of its plants are coal-based, Singh said: “We are focussing more on the renewable side. Along with the coal-based generation, we are investing in renewables, and mainly solar.” The objective is 10,000 MW of renewable capacity by 2022.
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