“Affordability, Access & Inclusiveness Driving India’s Energy Policies”: Piyush Goyal
The growth story in India has just begun with the country set to become the largest energy market representing the aspirations of a billion plus people in the coming years. This is even more significant in view of the global scenario when most developed economies are witnessing a declining trend in their energy demand. “India, which is projected to see its demand quadrupling in the coming years will also lead the way in scaling up energy efficiency in line with its commitments towards combating the challenges of climate change,” said Piyush Goyal, Union Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal and New and Renewable Energy. He was speaking at the session, “Investors Roundtable on Renewable Energy” which was organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry in London.
Goyal further elaborated on how India was developing its energy policies that was driven by affordability, access and inclusiveness. “The idea is to make power available to all at affordable prices. Our policies have to make a difference to the last man at the bottom of the pyramid and change his life for the better,” he said while elaborating on how cost will play a big role in the Indian market. Citing examples of how solar tariffs have dipped through competitive transparent systems he emphasized that scale will have a large role to play in bringing down costs.
Calling on investors in UK, Goyal said that India and UK are natural partners and a deeper engagement can lead to a win win for both nations and economies. While India will gain from new technologies, UK can make the same technologies more accessible by manufacturing in India, capitalizing on Indian skills and the scale to bring down costs.
India has set a renewable energy target of 175 GW of renewable energy by 2022 that comprises 100 GW of solar and 60 GW of wind capacity. In a bid to bring the global community together on a larger platform of cooperation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the International Solar Alliance in November last on the sidelines of COP 21 at Paris. The ISA will try and bring the advantages of progress and technological advances to the larger community. Goyal said, “We believe that we have to play our role in helping countries that have been left behind in the development journey and this can be done if the global community comes together.” Sometimes such decisions come at a cost but such costs have to be paid for a better and sustainable future, he further added. He was referring to how India has chosen to embrace renewable energy despite having little to do with the large greenhouse emissions that pose challenges today.
Elaborating on how India is leading from the front on issues relating to climate change, the Minister said that India is among the few nations that has imposed a carbon tax even as measures are being taken to scale up energy efficiency and de carbonize the transport industry. “With India selling 770 million LED bulbs everyday India will soon become the LED capital of the world. Prices of LED bulbs have come down to 55 pence from over £3.5 two years ago,” said Goyal even as he detailed plans of how electric vehicles were being promoted as an alternative to ones being run on petroleum fuels. For a country like India, replacing petroleum fuel is even more important as this would reduce import dependence and ensure energy security.
Speaking about his earlier engagements during the day, Goyal said that he had invited his British counterpart for a ministerial level engagement to Delhi in June. During the course of the day, he had met with senior government functionaries including including Lord Bourne, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Lord Jim O’Neill, Commercial Secretary to the Treasury and Nick Hurd, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development.
CII led a strong 12 member industry delegation accompanying the Minister and members included Rahul Munjal, Managing Director, Hero Future Energies; Ratul Puri, Chairman and Managing Director, Hindustan Power projects Pvt Ltd; Deepak Amitabh Chairman and Managing Director, Power Trading Corporation of India Ltd and Ravi Kailas, Chairman, Mytrah Energy.