New & Renewable Energy Ministry will seek Cabinet approval to a proposal to reclassifying large hydro power plants as renewable projects, a move which can help India achieve clean power capacity of 230 GW by 2022.
"I have a study carried out by Power Secretary and his team which demonstrates that except 4-5 countries almost universally in the world, hydro power (large project) is considered renewable. We are almost on the verge of finalising that report, which should shortly be taking up to the Cabinet (for approval)," Power, Coal, Mines and New & Renewable Energy Minister Piyush Goyal told reporters here.
Removing the distinction between small project (up to 25 MW) and large hydro project can help India projecting that its installed renewable energy capacity would be 230 GW by 2022.
Goyal further said, "I do believe that hydro power of all sizes and shapes should be considered part of renewable energy."
Elaborating further on the move he said, "I am not trying to cut corners and now say 175 GW (renewable energy target by 2022) will include large hydro and therefore scale down my ambition. When I add large hydro to renewable, I would add that much capacity to renewable energy. I think we will go to 230 GW after adding large hydro to renewable energy."
Of the 306 GW installed power generation capacity, 43 GW comes from large hydro projects (above 25 MW) and 44.23 GW from other renewable power generation capacities.
India has set an ambitious target of adding 175 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2022 which includes 100 GW of solar, 60 GW from wind, 10 GW from bio-power and 5 GW from small hydro-power (up to 25 MW capacity each).
Besides better projection of India's renewable energy capacities, the move would help the hydro power sector as it would be able to access incentives being provided to renewable energy projects by the government.
Earlier in March, Planning Minister Rao Inderjit Singh had told the Lok Sabha that the planned hydro power generation capacity addition of 4,371 mw out of total target of 10,897 mw in the 12th Plan will not be completed.
"Based on the current status of works, out of 12th Plan hydro capacity addition target of 10,897 mw, capacity aggregating 4,371 mw is slipping, and 930 mw capacity is critical to commissioning during the 12th Plan," he had said.
Talking about the UDAY scheme meant for revival for
debt-ridden power distribution companies, the power minister said, "Rajasthan which was the country's largest loss making discom...Will possibly be the first state to turn around and start reporting profit by next year."
He further said that within one and half year of UDAY, there will be a state discom which will start generating profit from the level of Rs 15,000 crore annual loss which was highest in the country and accounted for 25 per cent of total national loss (of over Rs 60,000 crore).
Asked whether his ministries have finalised a scheme with an allocation of Rs 21,000 crore for encouraging solar equipment manufacturing in India, the minister said, "We are discussing the way to boost solar equipment manufacturing in India."
He informed, "A committee headed by NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant had given some suggestions to bring out a policy bring integrated manufacturing facilities in the country to produce cells, silica, panels and other equipment so that India should become manufacturing hub of solar equipment."
The minister said, "The policy is at final stages. We will soon discuss it with finance ministry and take it to the Cabinet."
The minister also spoke about need for having two separate ministries of power and renewables.
He said, "Should not we have power sector under one head because there is a lot of synergy between the two."
Talking about NTPC BHEL Power Projects Pvt Ltd (NBPPL), the minister said, "Today, we have taken two decision. The project will not be relocated. There was a condition in the joint venture agreement that the JV will not compete whenever there are order (tenders for new project equipments) in the market. We have removed that condition. Now this company can bid for contracts."
NBPPL is a joint venture company of NTPC Ltd and BHEL to enhance the Engineering, Procurement & Construction (EPC) capability and manufacturing capacity of the Power Sector and supplement the efforts of both the promoter companies.
As an EPC firm, it takes up turn-key jobs of power plant with a view to provide total business solution to the customer from concept to commissioning.
NBPPL is establishing an Equipment Manufacturing Facility at Mannavaram, near Tirupati, in Andhra Pradesh for Balance of Plant equipment such as Coal Handling, Ash Handling Plant.
"We have set up a high-power committee under NTPC Chairman Gurdeep Singh and BHEL Chairman Atul Sobti along with officials with JV firm, to explore more viable opportunities that we can bring to this projects to create jobs and expand under use of of this facility," the minister informed.
The minister laid the foundation stone for Atal Akshay Urja Bhawan here today.
The building has been named after former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. It would be a state-of- the art Net-Zero-Energy Green Building designed on the concept of Solar Passive Architecture.