India’s power generation capacity doubles to 2.34 lakh MW

India’s power generation capacity more than doubled to 2.34 lakh MW over the past decade, Finance Minister P Chidambaram said today.

“Ten years ago, the installed power capacity of the country was 1,12,700 MW and today it is 2,34,600 MW,” Chidambaram said in his interim budget speech in Parliament.

“We have given a big push to infrastructure and capacity addition in infrastructure industries. In 2012-13 and in the nine months of the current financial year (2013-14), we have added 29,350 MW of power capacity,” he said.

Additional capacities are being installed in major manufacturing industries such as steel, cement, refinery, power and electronics, Chidambaram added.

The minister said about 50,000 MW of thermal and hydel power capacity is under construction. The government has also assured coal supply for 78,000 MW of power capacity.

The Ministry of Power has been allocated a corpus of Rs 9,768.50 crore in 2014-15 for funding schemes, including Rs 1,520.39 crore loans for power projects and Rs 62.95 crore loans for projects in Northeast India.

The ministry has also been granted a capital outlay of Rs 333.06 crore for maintenance, repair and upgrading of power projects during the period.

“The FDI policy was liberalised to attract larger investments in telecommunication, pharmaceuticals, civil aviation, power trading exchanges and multi-brand retail,” the Finance Minister said in his speech.

A 500 MW prototype fast breeder reactor at Kalpakkam in Tamil Nadu is nearing completion. Sevennuclear power reactors are under construction with the aim of achieving an installed capacity of 10,080 MW by the end of the 12th Plan period (2012-17).

Under the government’s flagship Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission, four ultra mega solar power projects, each with a capacity of over 500 MW, will be taken up in 2014-15.

The mission is aimed at deploying 20,000 MW of grid-connected solar power by 2022 and reducing the cost of solar power generation in the country.

Last week, Power Secretary Pradeep Kumar Sinha said the government is confident of adding 1,18,000 MW of capacity by 2017.

The target includes the shortfall in addition from the previous Plan period, the Planning Commission’s current target of over 88,000 MW and nuclear and renewable power capacities.

He said the ministry was unable to achieve the previous plan period (2007-12) target of 78,577 MW due to fuel scarcity issues.

Source: Business Standard

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