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Energyensemble.com - FUEL FIASCO

THE GREEN ENERGY CORRIDOR

The occasion was the 4th Clean Energy Ministerial Conference. And what better platform than this would the Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh have chosen to announce that India would double its renewable energy capacity to 55000 MW by 2017 as part of its efforts to increase efficiency of its energy use? Prime Minister did exactly that. India’s plans to double its renewable energy capacity would include exploiting non-conventional energy sources like solar, wind power and energy from biomass. India's 12th Five Year Plan has already recognised the importance of evolving a low carbon strategy for inclusive and sustainable growth.

Significantly, this coincided with another ambitious plan, which draws up roadmap for rolling out a Rs 43,000-crore ‘green energy corridor’ project to facilitate the flow of renewable energy into the national grid. Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd (PGCIL) has also submitted the blueprint for the project to the power ministry. The ‘green energy corridor’ is learnt to be aimed at synchronising electricity produced from renewable sources, such as solar and wind, with conventional power stations in the grid. Interestingly, India already is in talks with Germany to make its grid compatible for distributing renewable energy. Germany, incidentally, has smart grids that integrate renewable energy into the national grid.

Mind you that most of the leading State-run and private sector thermal power players mince no word either in admitting that renewable energy, particularly wind power would be the way forward, given the fuel scarcity, increasing fuel costs, land scarcity and difficulties in acquiring land and requirement of so many clearances for other forms of power projects.

A number of other companies are also joining the renewable energy bandwagon, setting up solar, wind and other forms of renewable energy projects.

All these are certainly very positive signs. But as the Prime Minister Dr Singh aptly said at the 4th Clean Energy Ministerial Conference, the most important thing in this case is efficiency in energy use. India has set a national target of increasing the efficiency of energy use to bring about a 20 to 25 per cent reduction in the energy intensity of its GDP by 2020 and clean energy—hydel, solar, wind—will have to play a crucial role.

According to the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) figures, India, at present, has 27,541.71 MW of installed renewable capacity excluding hydro power stations. The country has a total installed capacity of 2,23,625.60 MW as on April 30.

At this outset, it would be interesting to take a look at whether India’s renewable energy plans are on track, what are the preparations underway, likely funds inflow into the sector, pricing of power, the consumer angle, what will happen to smaller stand-alone renewable energy players in the wake of larger private power players’ entry into the sector and much more.

We promise to keep you posted and updated about every single development in this area. Keep watching this space and be with us.

 

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