Higher Coal Production, Wind & Hydropower Keep Piyush Goyal Busy
Modi Government’s clean and dirty energy minister makes both go hand in hand.
India will no longer be dependent on coal imports to power up its cities. This is one of the multiple achievements in the NDA 2 government’s cap. India’s minister for coal, power, and new and renewable energy, Piyush Goyal spoke to BloombergQuint and listed some landmark achievements of his ministries.
Higher coal production to save Rs 40,000 crore
The Modi government has successfully ramped up coal production by 74 million tonnes in less than two years. Goyal says, “India is now self-sufficient in coal and power. Last year we saved Rs 24,000 crore of coal imports, this year we will save Rs 40,000 crore. We are encouraging state governments to move towards rational utilisation of coal.”
This contrasts with the former regime where coal shortage had forced massive coal imports. The NDA has focused on bettering coal availability through Coal India. Coal production is largely driven by eastern states of Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, and West Bengal. India ranks fourth in the list of top global producers with 6 percent of the world’s coal production.
Wind and Hydropower on Clean Energy Agenda This Year
Clean energy has been on the agenda for the Modi government since it has come to power. While solar power generation has been on the rise, a similar thrust has not come for wind energy. Goyal says that wind and hydropower are on the crosshairs of his ministry this year. He said, “Hydro and wind are the focus areas this year. We’ve had extensive talks with state power ministers, several issues have come about, and we will be focusing on them.”
Solar power generation capacity doubled in India during FY16. The country added 3,019 MW to the grid, taking the cumulative solar energy capacity to 6,763 MW as of 31 March, 2016. India added 3,460MW of wind energy capacity in FY16, a marginal increase over the existing 26,904.16 MW.
Under the clean energy targets, India aims to reach 1GW of solar power generation capacity by 2022. India also targets adding another 75,000 MW of renewable energy generation ability by 2022.
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