India’s Energy Sector Presents Lucrative Investment Opportunity: R K Singh
Singh assured the investor community that India's power sector is sounder than ever
Union Minister for Power and New and Renewable Energy R. K. Singh has assured the investor community that India’s power sector is sounder than ever and exhorted them to seize the growing market opportunities in the country.
Addressing the CII Annual Session 2023, he highlighted the significant investment opportunities stemming from India’s rapidly growing energy demand and steadfast commitment to sustainable growth.
Highlighting the issue of free power, he emphasized that there is no such thing as free power, as taxpayers bear the burden of its costs. To address this, the government has implemented a system where non-payment for electricity consumption by distribution companies (DISCOM) automatically results in a disconnection of supply, ensuring accountability and financial sustainability.
Singh also underscored the extensive measures undertaken by India to tackle challenges in the power sector, including viability issues and payment concerns.
Substantial progress had been made in reducing legacy dues by nearly 50%, with a target to eliminate them entirely within the next 8-9 months.
Additionally, losses incurred by DISCOMs have been significantly reduced, resulting in a more stable and attractive power sector for potential investors.
During the session on “Renewables – Powering the Net Zero Agenda of India,” the minister reiterated the crucial need for India to continually expand its energy capacity to support the nation’s future growth.
While acknowledging the importance of net zero, Singh highlighted India’s progress in power capacity expansion, having added 184,000 MW since 2014.
However, he emphasized that this accomplishment was insufficient and reaffirmed India’s commitment to providing 24/7 electricity without compromising on per capita carbon emissions, which are currently one-third of the global average.
Singh also emphasized the government’s efforts to address challenges in renewable energy capacity addition.
He referred to amendments to the Energy Conservation Act which mandate the establishment of trajectories for transition, ensuring that State Electricity Regulatory Commissions cannot deviate from the government’s Renewable Purchase Obligations. Failure to comply with these trajectories will result in significant fines.
Singh expressed India’s determination to become a champion in green hydrogen production, despite facing barriers imposed by developed countries.
He pointed out that to further solidify its commitment to a greener future, the National Green Hydrogen Mission aims to position India as a global leader in green hydrogen production.
In March 2023, Singh informed Rajya Sabha that India initiated multiple green hydrogen pilot projects in its bid to achieve 8 million tons of green hydrogen capacity by 2030.