In a significant transformation, India has become power surplus from chronic power shortage. Record capacity addition of around one-fifth of current conventional power capacity and solar power capacity addition of 157% in the last two years led to a boost in power generation. The highest-ever increase in transmission lines and sub-stations improved the transmission scenario resulting in energy deficit falling to lowest ever of 2.1% in 2015-16.
Critical Coal Situation Resolved
Today, not a single power plant faces shortage of coal as opposed to the impending power crisis in 2014 when two-thirds of major power plants had critical coal stocks of less than 7 days. Working on war footing our government completely eliminated coal shortage in the country. In line with achieving the target of doubling coal production to 100 crore tonnes by 2020, the last two years witnessed the highest ever growth in coal production of 7.4 crore tonnes.
Most comprehensive power sector reform ever
Our government focused on addressing the root problems of the power sector. UDAY (Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana) for improvement in financial and operational efficiencies of State Power Distribution Companies (DISCOMs), the weakest link in the power value chain, was launched in 2015. Every DISCOM is expected to eliminate losses by 2019-20 with potential savings of over Rs.180,000 crore every year from 2019. UDAY was designed through extensive stakeholder consultations and has been a game changer for States. Despite being a voluntary scheme 18 States and 1 Union Territory across political and regional lines have signed agreements or agreed to join. UDAY bonds worth about Rs. 1 lakh crore were issued within three weeks.
Progress of Programmes
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day, 2015 promise of connecting the unconnected 18,452 un-electrified villages in 1,000 days is ahead of schedule with over 40% (7,779 remote villages) already electrified. India is headed for the top slot in the global LED market through UJALA (Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All) Yojana, which will replace 77 crore bulbs with energy efficient LED bulbs by 2019. Over 9 crore LED bulbs were distributed in 2015-16, about 150 times higher than 6 lakh in 2013-14.
Due to widespread irregularities, the Supreme Court had cancelled 204 coal blocks in 2014. Through transparent e-auctions and allotment of just 74 coal blocks around Rs. 3.44 lakh crore potential revenues will accrue to coal bearing States over the life time of the mines. Again, by supplying gas through transparent e-auctions in 2015, nearly half of gas power plants were revived. Transparent procurement process reduced LED bulb prices by 83% in two years and Solar Tariffs reduced to one-fourth from 2010. DEEP (Discovery of Efficient Electricity Price) portal for compulsory purchase of short-term power through auctions by States.
Mobile Apps to Empower the Citizens
GARV (Grameen Vidyutikaran) app to help people track rural electrification and UJALA app to monitor LED distribution has brought accountability and transparency in these two programmes. Moreover, Vidyut Pravah app provides real time information of electricity price and availability. By filling the information gap, State governments have been made accountable.
World’s Clean Energy Capital
India is running the world’s largest renewable energy expansion programme with a target to increase overall renewable capacity by more than 5 times from 32,000 MW in 2014 to 1,75,000 MW in 2022. By taking a leadership role in the International Solar Alliance of 121 countries and organising RE-Invest 2015, the world’s largest renewable financing meet, our government has laid the foundations for massive growth in this sector.
Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas
Our government is committed to the mantra of Sabka Saath Sabka Saath. Urban areas are being provided smart infrastructure through the Integrated Power Development Scheme (IPDS), while rural infrastructure is being improved through the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY) for Gramoday se Bharat Uday. The farmer has been additionally benefitted through the highest-ever distribution of solar pumps in 2015-16, greater than total solar pumps installed since launch of the scheme in 1991. Apart from this, the less developed Eastern states will benefit through the revenues accruing from coal auctions. The power constrained Southern states have been provided relief by increasing the transmission capacity by 71% and revived gas plants, which has expanded availability of electricity and reduced procurement prices of electricity by over 50%. By resolving problems in hydroelectric projects the government is ensuring clean power to the North East.
The last two years have seen many records broken and many firsts. There is now a clear roadmap to achieve the vision of Ujwal Bharat – delivering 24×7 affordable power to every household and adequate power to farmers, in an environment friendly manner.