Singh urged the renewable energy industry to start adding capacity without waiting for bids to come out
He added that the government is taking steps to bring back growth in these challenging times and demand will accelerate going forward
New Delhi: RK Singh, Minister of State (IC) for Power and New & Renewable Energy, said that the government may consider extending the ISTS (Interstate Transmission System) waiver for renewable energy projects by at least six months. Addressing a CEOs’ interactive session organised by FICCI Renewable Energy CEOs Council and FICCI Power Committee, Singh said that electricity generation will have to be doubled. He urged the renewable energy industry to start adding capacity without waiting for bids to come out as RPO penalty will be made more stringent. The government is looking towards strengthening the local manufacturing units for solar, instead of depending on neighbouring countries, he added.
‘Electricity Act amendments are essential’
Alluding to reforms in the sector, Singh said that amendments in the Electricity Act are essential to make the sector viable and sustainable. The minister urged the industry to communicate the importance of these reforms. While asserting that the sanctity of contracts have to be maintained and this applies to all parties involved, Singh said that a failure to do so will result in blacklisting of companies.
Speaking on the issue of open bid availability only for the short term, Singh said that the ministry is working towards a centralised bid system for making coal available for long-term without linkage to PPAs. The minister exhorted the industry to start-up and stand-up for its rights. He added that the government is taking steps to bring back growth in these challenging times and demand will accelerate going forward.
‘Renewable energy sector suffered less during COVID crisis’
Ranjit Gupta, Chair, FICCI Renewable Energy CEOs Council, and Chief Executive Officer, Azure Power, said that the reforms in the Electricity Act and Tariff Policy are much needed as they will enable foreign investors to come to India. He added that the industry will push for the government’s initiative ‘Make in India’.
Gupta said that the renewable energy sector suffered less during COVID-19 crisis because of the proactive steps taken by the government. He added that the FICCI RE CEOs Council is engaging directly with states and raising concerns for speedy resolution and mentioned that one such engagement has already taken place with the Energy Minister of Gujarat on June 5.
‘Liquidity has been a challenge for the industry’
Vipul Tuli, Chair, FICCI Power Committee, and Managing Director, Sembcorp Energy India, said that under Singh’s leadership, reforms in the power sector have been prompt, rapid and helpful. He added that the industry is also stepping up to the occasion in response to the efforts made by the government. Underlining the issues of the sector, Tuli said that liquidity has been a challenge for the industry. The other issues are absence of long-term bids and the challenges of environmental equipment for the power sector.
Dilip Chenoy, Secretary General, FICCI said that the industry will fight the perception issue, along with the government, and would work towards honoring contracts by companies. He added that the industry will also communicate with stakeholders by way of articles to emphasise the need for reforms in the Electricity Act.