Mining a challenge today, oil imports leading into drain of foreign exchange: MNRE

Last Updated: Thu, Feb 20, 2014 16:15 hrs

, (ANI): Joint Secretary of Ministry of New and Renewable Energy Tarun Kapoor on Thursday said that mining in India had become a challenge and oil imports were leading into a drain of foreign exchange.

"Mining in India has become a challenge with the passage of time, while oil imports are leading into a drain of foreign exchange. Hence, India cannot ignore the abundance of renewable energy in solar, wind, hydro and biomass," said Kapoor at the Power Focus Summit presented by Hindustan Powerprojects.

"We have moved on from a stage where India has been experimenting with renewable energy to a point where renewable energy has become a serious player in the Indian energy sector," he said.

Chairman, Hindustan Power projects Ratul Puri said that India needed an investment of over 1 trillion dollars for development in the energy sector.

"India needs an investment of around 1 trillion dollars for the development in the energy sector, which demands for foreign investment into the sector. Various issues faced by the energy sector include coal and gas needs, financial challenges, and environmental clearances, delays in the development in the new coal and gas projects," said Puri.

"The country needs a proper fuel mix for a smooth functioning of the energy sector. The three key factors for sustaining a proper fuel mix in the country are to observe the pattern of demand for fuel in the country, the fuel availability and the cost incurred into the same," he added.

Member of Planning Commission of India B.K Chaturvedi said that India was far away from its intended goal of mass electrification.

"India is far away from its intended goal of mass electrification. The original concept of minimal Below Poverty Line (BPL) electricity demands has changed to encompass comprehensive electricity demands. Renewable energy can be instrumental in providing complete electrification by end of the 12th Five Year Plan, or the beginning of the 13th Five Year Plans," said Chaturvedi.

He also addressed the need of better governance at the state level for a smoother functioning in the sector.

CEO, Thermal Hindustan Powerprojects Ltd. Lajpat Srivastava said that the Ministry of Power must address the issues related to coal, as it would help in the industrial growth.

"Coal is only available for long term sale; short and medium-term should also be allowed in the coming future. The Ministry of Power must address the issues related to coal, as it will help in the industrial growth, and there is an urgent need for Ministry of Coal and Ministry of Power to address issues like pricing and coal availability. Coal India should engage high tech means to augment coal demand," said Srivastava.

Senior MD, Blackstone Amit Dixit said that India needed to create an intense process of issues resolution.

"There is a strong need for coal sector reforms, including appointment of coal regulators and public private partnership in the sector, as well as enabling short term and medium coal linkages. We need to create an intense process of issues resolution, via a high-powered committee working with the PM's office to put forward a balanced view that factors in all stakeholder perspectives on issues like coal de-allocation and tariffs," said Dixit.

"There is also the need for distributor reforms to create a robust, open access licensing regime that enables power generators to directly supply to the consumers," he added. (ANI)

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