Average Rural Power Supply Duration has Increased to 18.5 Hours

RK Singh has informed that the average rural power supply duration increased from 12.5 hours in 2014-15 to 18.5 hours in 2019-20.

Addressing the Power Ministry Parliamentary Consultative Committee in a meeting, Power Minister RK Singh has informed that the average rural power supply duration increased from 12.5 hours in 2014-15 to 18.5 hours in 2019-20.

The minister while replying to queries explained some of the major reform initiatives which the Ministry of Power has recently undertaken like the Universal Access to Electricity; Reliable, Quality and Sustainable Supply; Empowering Consumers and Green and Clean Nation. Further highlighting that the 100 percent village electrification has been achieved 13 days before target while 100 percent household electrification has been achieved under the Saubhagya scheme.

The power minister stated that the country has been transformed from a Power Deficit to Power Surplus Nation as at present the total installed capacity in the country is 3.77 lakh MW as compared to a Peak Demand of 1.89 lakh MW.

“We have achieved the target of One Nation-One Grid- One Frequency with the addition of Transmission Lines of 1.42 lakh ckm (circuit km) and Transformation Capacity of 437 MVA in FY 15-20”, he stated.

The minister also informed that as regards the promotion of renewable energy, efforts are on towards working for renewable energy target of 175 GW by 2022 under Paris Climate Agreement. Various steps have been taken to promote green and renewable energy such as waiver of ISTS Charges for Solar and Wind and competitive bidding guidelines for procurements of Wind, Solar, Hybrid, Round The Clock (RTC) power. And that stalled hydropower projects of 3470 MW capacity have also been revived.

Furthermore, the minister also stressed the steps taken by the ministry for the empowerment of consumers. The Electricity (Rights of Consumers) Rules were rolled out by Power Ministry in December 2020, with emphasis that a power system exists to serve consumers with mandated service standards and mandatory round-the-clock call center.

One provision from the Rules – net metering cap- remains a big topic of discussion in the Indian power sector with developers firmly against the idea of capping rooftop solar installations at 10 kW for setting up the projects with net-metering. 

In January, the Ministry of Power (MoP) had issued a clarification for its Electricity (Rights of Consumers) Rules 2020, stating that it will reexamine the provision for capping net metering at 10 kW for rooftop solar installations under the new consumer rules.

The ministry stated that in the draft of the Electricity (Rights of Consumers) Rules 2020, which was floated for stakeholders’ consultation, the cap was set at 5 kW capacity for individual rooftop solar systems for net metering. However, based on the comments from the consumers, industry and Discoms, the provision was revised to 10 kW in the final bill.

However, the ministry also heeded the request made by the industry stakeholders. And stated that it will examine all such representations and requests, and based on that it will take a call to balance out the interest of all the stakeholders in the bill.

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