Centre aims to raise renewable energy capacity to 1.75 lakh MW

The Central government has set an ambitious target of enhancing renewable energy generation to 1.75 lakh MW, a five-fold increase from the current capacity, Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal said on Thursday.

"First time, all targets in renewable energy were exceeded. Now, we have set an ambitious plan to increase renewable energy to 1.75 lakh Megawatt. That is five times from what we have today. In fact, solar, if you see, there is only 3,000 Megawatt in India. We are going to increase it to one lakh Megawatt. All of this is going to help us become more secure as a nation in the field of energy," the Union Minister of State for Power, Coal and Renewable Energy said here.

The promotion of renewable energy would help in saving environment from the ill-effects of climate change and carbon emissions, he said, addressing BJP workers on the one-year rule of NDA Government.

Noting that 32 million tonnes of additional coal was produced by Coal India in 2014-15 after the NDA Government assumed office, he said only 31 million tonnes was added during 2010-14 (when Congress-led UPA was in power).

Power generation increased by a record 8.4 per cent and the output of coal in the country grew 8.3 per cent since the NDA government assumed office in May last year, he said.
"The highest addition of transmission lines (22,100 circuit km) were added in last one year alone. It has never happened in the history of India."

Observing that the BJP-led government is making purchases through a transparent e-bidding process, Goyal said the cost of energy-saving and long-lasting LED bulbs has been brought down to about Rs 81 a unit now from Rs 310 earlier.

Saying that the use of LED bulbs would enhance lighting but reduce electricity cost, he requested Andhra Pradesh and Telangana governments to convert streetlights and lights in homes to LED in the next two years.

Citing an example, he said 90,000 streetlights in cyclone-hit Visakhapatnam have been converted to LED in about two weeks and the electricity bill came down by half.

Referring to coal block allocation during the UPA regime, he said a transparent auction mechanism was put in place by the NDA and this helped in netting proceeds that surpassed the CAG's estimate of Rs 1.86 lakh crore loss suffered during the previous Congress-led administration.

Talking about Prime Minister Narendra Modi's promise of 24x7 'power to all' by 2019, he said Andhra Pradesh and Telangana are "living examples" of success in power sector.
There is no shortage of coal for power plants anywhere in the country, the Union Minister said.

The Centre, under the Deen Dayal Upadhyay Gram Jyoti Yojana, would provide power to farmers by setting up separate feeder lines, he maintained.

Asked about the criticism of senior Congress leader Anand Sharma that Modi Government is in the habit of carrying out "marketing and propaganda", Goyal said the Sonia Gandhi-led outfit was among three parties that did not support key Bills in Parliament related to auction of coal mines and other minerals.

Congress itself was mired in corruption, the BJP leader alleged.

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