Need to make power a national sector: Expert

India should make power a national sector and and de-link it from politics to meet the country’s growing electricity demand, an expert said Tuesday.

“Declaring the power sector as a national sector would create the right environment for investments, both public and private,” Harry Dhaul, director general of the Independent Power Producers Association of India (IPPAI), told IANS.

The power industry expert said that ironing out uncertainties in both policy and regulation matters as well as “de-linking politics from the power sector” and encouraging sustainable agriculture with lesser quantum of electricity and water input would help India on power front.

He added that India will have to juggle between nuclear, hydro, thermal, renewable as well as conventional power resources to meet its electricity needs in the next 20 years.

“If the government of India creates the right environment, the installed capacity of the Indian power sector will be around 750,000 MW and the load despatch ability will also be much higher. This will have to have a mix of nuclear, renewable, hydro, and thermal,” Dhaul said.

He is here to participate at the 14th edition of Regulators and Policymakers Retreat 2013 to be held from Aug 1-4. Themed as ‘Democracy versus Development’, the event will see decision-makers, regulators and industry experts deliberating on various developmental issues.

“We will find solutions to various issues bedevilling the power sector. These solutions include new concepts such as general network access in transmission, creation of the national power beltway and energy storage,” Dhaul said.

He added that the conference would also explore the roadway to reforms in the power sector and “encourage the private sector to invest and participate in building India’s power infrastructure”.

He also said that as long as India depends on oil imports to produce power, it would always be at the receiving end of the dollar-rupee ratio.

The Indian power sector’s installed capacity, Dhaul said, is in the range of 300 Giga Watts (GW), but the maximum despatch achieved is 130 GW only. The demand for power will grow “exponentially”, he said.

On whether nuclear power would help India in meeting its future power demand, Dhaul said: “Potentially, yes. Nuclear power is stable, clean, and cheap. It does not have the vagaries of the oil and gas market”.

 

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