R.K. Singh Press Conference- Rules On Green Tariff Coming, More..

At a virtual press conference linked to India’s role as a Global Champion for the Energy Transition theme at the UN High Level Dialogue on Energy 2021, Mr R.K. Singh, Minister of State (I/C) for Ministry of Power and MNRE and Minister of State for Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, the Minister held forth on a raft of issues raised by media.

Starting off with the issue of solar manufacturing raised by SaurEnergy, where solar developers and manufacturers have been ranged against each other, the Minister shared that the plan to have customs duties from April 22 stays on track.  He added that as per reports received by his ministry, by March 2022, almost 17 GW of fresh solar (module) manufacturing capacity will be created. A figure expected to touch 27 GW by December 2022. A breakup between cell and modules was not provided, but it seems to estimate at least 20-25% share for cell manufacturing in these figures.

Mr Singh highlighted how India is on track to meet its renewable energy commitments despite setbacks from Covid, and will comfortably cross its targets for 2030. The 450 GW target will be equal to  over 54% of the planned 821 GW of total generation capacity, well over the 40 percent target.

On the key role of states in supporting as well as following national goals, Mr Singh pointed out that the electricity amendment bill (2021) has been designed to take care of multiple issues that have plagued the sector, be it sanctity of contracts, to enforcement of contracts, and meeting RPO (Renewable purchase obligations) that would drive uptake.

On upcoming moves that will support the energy transition, he flagged a green hydrogen use obligation, rules on green tariffs for any consumer, and even a mandate to ensure that open access applications involving RE are approved within 15 days.

The minister was sanguine about the recent SC judgement  to save the Great Indian bustard habitat, saying that the SC itself has mandated a committee to approve on a case by case basis. His own ministry would stick to its stand that only transmission lines below 33 KV could be laid underground, as it was not ‘feasible’ to have high tension lines laid underground, according to him.

He also expressed optimism on the storage front, an area he marked out as requiring further cost reductions. A survey had placed total pumped storage potential in the country at 96 GW, and his ministry was seized of the need to find ways to exploit  this potential, considering the vital role storage would play in grid stability going forward.

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Prasanna Singh

Prasanna has been a media professional for over 20 years. He is the Group Editor of Saur Energy International

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