(GIST OF YOJANA) Power for All - A Dream Coming True [FEBRUARY-2019]

(GIST OF YOJANA) Power for All - A Dream Coming True


Power for All - A Dream Coming True

Mains Paper 3: Economy
Prelims level: DDUGJY
Mains level: Electrification process


  •  Access to reliable and affordable energy increases the case of living and generates employment. It powers the development of the country.
  •  It is a prerequisite to digital connectivity in rural India, thereby opening new vistas for the people hitherto unconnected to the outer world.
  •  The past four and a half years, have seen unprecedented pace of infrastructure creation in every segment be it power generation, transmission or distribution.
  •  Regulatory framework is being reformed with a new Tariff Policy and amendments to the Electricity Act. In sum, the Indian power sector has undergone a paradigm change.

Challenges and Way Out

  •  The challenges involved in completing this task were huge- these challenges had stood as a barrier to extending electricity to these villages for such a long period.
  •  Most of these villages were located in remote inaccessible areas with difficult terrain in hilly areas, forest areas, areas severely affected with LWE activities etc. and transportation of material/equipment and mobilization of manpower for execution of works required determination and perseverance.
  •  To achieve this feat, extensive infrastructure was created under DDUGJY.
  •  Special focus was on feeder separation (rural households and agricultural) and strengthening of sub-transmission and distribution infrastructure including metering at M levels in rural areas. Hundreds of thousand kilometers of new lines were laid and lakhs of distributions transformers were installed.
  •  The Prime Minister launched the ‘Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli liar Ghar Yojana’- Saubhagya in Sept. 2017 with the aim to achieve universal household electrification. Achievement of this within targeted timeline of 31” March 2019 is the challenge we have given to ourselves.
  •  As the name of the scheme itself suggests, it has inherent features of ‘Sahaj’ i.c. Simple I Easy I Effortless and ‘HarGhar’ i.e. inclusive universal household electrification.
  •  A targeted program of such a scale has never been attempted in the world. The progress is again exemplary in terms of speed and innovation. More than 2.50 crore households have already been electrified under Saubhagya!

About IPDS

  •  In addition to providing last mile connectivity in rural areas, the Government launched Integrated
  •  Power Development Scheme (IPDS) with an aim to strengthen power infrastructure in urban areas.
  •  The focus areas of IPDS are
  •  Strengthening of sub-transmission and distribution network in the urban areas
  •  Metering of distribution transformers IfeedersIconsumers in the urban areas
  •  IT enablement and automation of distribution sector

Renewable Energy

  •  While India needs to develop, it has to do so in a responsible way. We owe our future generations a green and clean planet.
  •  This is the reason India is in the process of changing its energy mix.
  •  To make our electricity clean and green, we have developed a roadmap to achieve 175 GW capacity in the renewable energy sector by 2022, which includes 100 GW of solar power and 60 GW of wind power.
  •  The overall installed capacity of Renewable Energy has been more than doubled in the last four and a half years from 34,000 MW to 75,000 MW, solar capacity increased 8 times in last
    4 years.
  •  Today, India stands at 5th position in the world in installed solar capacity, at 4th position in installed wind capacity and at 5th position in over all renewable energy (installed capacity). We are on the way to achieve our commitments.

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Energy Efficiency

  •  A number of innovative and visionary policy measures have been taken in this field. Household LED bulb distribution program UJALA and SLNP (Streetlight National Project) for replacing conventional streetlights with smart and energy efficient LED street lights have saved billions of unit electricity per year.
  •  Star Labeling program, Energy Conservation Building Code and energy efficiency measures through Perform, Achieve and Trade (PAT) are  also important initiatives in the field of energy efficiency.

Way Forward

  •  A new Tariff Policy is being finalized. It contains several consumer friendly provisions to ensure reliable and 24x7 supply of power. This policy makes it mandatory to provide reliable and 24x7 power supply for all from 1st April, 2019.
  •  If a power outage occurs without a valid reason (e.g. for scheduled maintenance or disruption due to natural calamity), the concerned power distribution company (DISCOM) will face penalties. This would effectively put an end to gratuitous load shedding by DISCOMs.
  •  Another futuristic area we are working on is - Smart Electricity Meters. We have chalked out a strategy to replace all electricity meters in the country with Smart Meters within a period of 3 years.
  •  A beginning has already been made with the installation of over 50 thousands Smart Meters in NDMC area.
  •  This will revolutionize the power sector by way of reduced AT&C losses, better health of DISCOMs, incentivisation of energy conservation and ease of bill payments etc. Further, it will generate skilled employment for the youth.
  •  Electrical vehicles (EVs) are another major emerging area we are focusing on. The Government has launched the National E-Mobility programme to promote electric vehicles in a big way.
  •  Creation of extensive charging infrastructure is a prerequisite for large scale adoption of EVs.
  •  The Ministry of Power is creating an enabling regulatory framework for rapid expansion of charging and storage infrastructure.

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