NEW DELHI: Eyeing a quick-fix to blackouts,Power and Coal Minister Piyush Goyal today said
the government is working on innovative methods that can help more than double electricity
generation to 2 trillion units without raising tariffs.
India faced a peak power shortfall of 6,103 megawatts, or 4.5 per cent of the requirement of
1,35,918 MW last fiscal, he said, adding that rationalising fuel linkages and sorting out
transmission and distributionissues can solve the problem. In an interview to PTI, Goyal said the
demand for power is legitimate and good quality electricity at reasonable prices should be
made available to the end consumer.
“We did about 900 billion units last year and we can do at least 2 trillion units of power
generation with existing assets commissioned or soon to be commissioned,” he said.
The doubling of power generation can be done without burdening the consumer with a higher
electricity tariff. Goyal, who took charge of the ministries a month ago, said, “Ya, I am quite
sure,” when asked whether this is possible without hiking electricity charges. Supply of coal, the
fuel most used to generate electricity, needs to be nationalized by allocating it to power plants
from the nearest source, he said.
For example, a power plant in Gujarat that ferries coal by rail from Chattisgarh can swap its
allocation with NTPC BSE-1.19 % , which depends on imported coal that is shipped through a port
in Gujarat. Similarly, to solve coal quality issues facing power plants, crushing units can be set
up at every mine that will ensure no boulders go to electricity stations, he said, adding that
orders have been issued for installing crushers at every mine by the end of this year.
“Our focus is sorting out fuel supply issues, focusing investments in transmission and
distribution, power supply to agriculture sector,” the minister said. “The bottlenecks can be
clearly identified — if you ask me, the biggest one is to think a little out of the box.”