India's power sector needs $300 billion investment: Shinde

Last Updated: Tue, Oct 05, 2010 16:10 hrs

New Delhi, Oct 5 (IANS) Power Minister Sushilkumar Shinde Tuesday said India required over $300 billion investment in electricity and invited foreign investors to participate in the sector.

'The scope for investment in the power sector over the next few years is well over $300 billion and given our large expansion programme in this sector, we would definitely need and welcome a large amount of foreign direct investment,' he said at the 7th Annual India Investment Forum in New York.

'The confidence of investors in our sector is reflected in the fact that the initial public offer of public sector undertakings under the ministry of power over the last 5 to 6 years have been over-subscribed between 13 to 77 times,' he added, according to a statement issued by the power ministry.

Shinde said that India is growing at rapid pace and has huge opportunities for investments and technology in the power sector to move forward on the path of growth and progress.

The Indian power sector has the fifth largest electricity generation capacity in the world at more than 164,000 megawatt and the world's third largest transmission and distribution network.

However, the demand from increased manufacturing activities, a growing population and the rising energy needs of a rapidly growing consumer base has led to a situation where the supply of energy falls short of the demand.

There is a peaking shortage of almost 12 percent and an energy shortage of 9 to 10 percent in the electricity sector alone. The country is targeting a capacity addition of 62,000 megawatt in the 11th five year plan during the 2012-2017.