Energy is the lifeline of economic development. In his book ‘The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream’, former US President Barack Obama states: “A nation that can’t control its energy sources can’t control its future.” Couldn’t have said it better!
In India, with growing population and expanding economy, there is the clear shift in focus from agriculture to the manufacturing and services sectors. This has led to an increase in energy intensity which has resulted in an unprecedented demand for energy sources. Further, according to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India’s energy consumption will grow 4.5 per cent every year for the next 25 years. So, India needs to ensure energy security to maintain its growth momentum and emerge as an economic superpower.
However, fuel scarcity is the major roadblock in the path of achieving energy security. As coal remains the largest energy source for India, the production of coal will need to be ramped up substantially. The Scheme for Harnessing and Allocating Koyala (coal) Transparently in India (SHAKTI) is introduced to ensure coal linkage to power producers based on an auction and tariff-based bidding.
With the aim of improving gas supply, the government also seeks to revisit the E-RLNG scheme. The scheme envisages supply of imported RLNG to the stranded gas-based plants as well as the plants receiving domestic gas, upto the target PLF, selected through a reverse e-bidding process.
The government also plans to warehouse stressed power projects totalling 25,000 MW under the proposed Power Asset Revival through Warehousing and Rehabilitation (PARIWARTAN) scheme. Further, the Electricity (Amendment) Bill, which is slated to be tabled in the Parliament during Winter Session, is expected to bring in reforms in an order to increase reliability and reduce risk in the power sector.
The telecommunication revolution in India has been astonishing and it has been a driving force of the economy for the past decade. Today India is the world’s second largest telecommunication market thanks to policy clarity, opening of spectrum, encouraging private entrepreneurship, and access to capital, especially FDI. A telecom-like revolution is need of the hour for Indian power sector to sustain and deliver on the government’s commitment to ‘Quality Power for All’.