Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday met with key players in the electricity and renewable energy sector to lobby for planned reforms in the sector and their implementation in all states. The Prime Minister hosted a webinar with Minister of Energy and New and Renewable Energies RK Singh, ministry officials, stakeholders and sector experts from the energy sector, representatives from industries and associations, heads of electricity distribution companies, CEOs of state hubs for renewable energies and consumer groups.
To solve the problems of the electricity distribution sector, the prime minister said, a policy and regulatory framework for discounts is in sight. “Consumers should be able to choose their supplier based on performance like any other retail product. Work is underway to free the distribution sector from barriers to entry and licenses for distribution and supply. Efforts are underway for prepaid smart meters, separation of power lines and system upgrade, ”said PM.
The Ministry of Energy has introduced an electricity bill with the reforms and policy changes mentioned above.
Prime Minister Modi said the government is striving to reach every village and every home as India is now a country with surplus electricity. “Reforms like the UDAY program with the issuance of Rs 2.32 billion of bonds have been undertaken to improve financial and operational efficiency. To monetize the assets of the Powergrid, Infrastructure Investment Trust –InvIT has been created and will soon be open to investors, ”he said.
The Union budget 2021 set out plans to monetize electricity transmission assets.
The prime minister added that this year’s budget showed the government’s commitment to infrastructure investments. “This is evident in Mission Hydrogen, the domestic manufacture of solar cells and the massive injection of capital into the renewable energy sector,” he said.
Referring to the Production Incentive Program (PLI) in key manufacturing sectors, the Prime Minister said the high efficiency photovoltaic solar module would be one of them and the Center would invest Rs 4,500 crore for it. Under the PLI program, 10 Gw of integrated solar photovoltaic manufacturing plants will be operationalized with an estimated investment of Rs 14,000 crore, he told stakeholders.
“We want to see our companies become global manufacturing champions, not just to meet local demands,” said the Prime Minister.
The government has indicated the commitment of an additional capital injection worth Rs 1,000 crore into Solar Energy Corporation of India to promote investments in the renewable energy sector. Likewise, India’s Renewable Energy Development Agency will get an additional investment worth Rs 1,500 crore.
The Prime Minister also spoke of the KUSUM program, adding that farmers would become energy entrepreneurs. “The goal is to create 30 GW of solar capacity through small factories in farmers’ fields. Already, a solar capacity of 4 GW is installed thanks to solar projects on the roofs, 2.5 GW will be added soon, ”he said.
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