Hello and welcome once again to Electrical India.
India tops the list of the fastest growing economies in the world. To sustain this high growth rate India has achieved, the country needs a healthy power sector. With the slew of reforms, the country’s power sector has witnessed remarkable growth in the past decade. Once a notoriously power-deficit nation, India became a net exporter of power in 2017, selling 5,798 million units to Nepal, Bangladesh and Myanmar. Buoyed by positive policy reforms, the private firms added 54,279 MW of capacity of the total 99,209 MW capacity added during the 12th Five-Year Plan. Electricity shortage went from 4.2% of demand in 2014 to 0.7% in 2017.
The country also claims to have achieved ‘100% Village Electrification’ this year. April 28th, when Leisang, a tiny hamlet in the remote north-eastern state of Manipur, was connected to the grid, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted that it would be “remembered as a historic day in the development journey of India.”
However, all is not so well with the India’s power sector. The sector continues to be plagued on account of financial health of state electricity boards, underutilised assets and looming coal crash. Of late, it is reported that 34 stressed thermal power projects, with a capacity of 40 GW and a combined debt of Rs 1.7 lakh crore, are on the verge of bankruptcy thanks to India’s muddled coal policy. Some of those stressed projects include Adani Power’s Korba (Chhattisgarh) plant, Adhunik’s Jharkhand plant and GMR’s Kamalanga (Odisha) plant.
Further, drastic fall in solar and wind tariff is pushing some electricity buyers to those new sources, adding to the woes of coal producers and their lenders. Earlier, the Coal Ministry announced of achieving the target of coal production of 1.5 billion tonne by 2020 out of which 1 billion tonne was expected to be contributed by Coal India alone. However, lately, Coal India announced a revised plan to undertake “challenge” of 700 million tonne output aim for FY’20 and pushed back the target to produce 1 billion tonnes annually by six years to 2026.
We are sure that the current distress will not last longer as the country is committed to bringing reliable power to all.
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Publisher & Editor-In-Chief