(GIST OF YOJANA) Power for All and Energy Security [AUGUST-2019]
(GIST OF YOJANA) Power for All and
Power for All and Energy Security
18 percent of the world’s population, India uses only around 6 per
cent of the world's
primary energy. The four primary sources of energy are coal, oil,
gas and renewable energy.
Out of the four,
India is well endowed in coal as well as renewable energy sources
India has been estimated to be roughly about 300 billion tonnes.
It has been the mainstay of the Indian electricity system so far and is
likely to remain so in the immediate future as well.
Due to the vast availability of this fuel source, it could remain
the cheapest source of energy for India for a long time, if explored and
used efficiently. It is the only energy source for which India is not
dependent on imports (except coking coal used for steel making).
The import of thermal coal can also be reduced to zero if a proper
policy framework for exploration cum-mining for commercial use is put in
place. Coal is however not an environment friendly fuel compared to
renewable energy and is likely to lose out in the long run. `
Though when compared to renewable energy, particularly solar
energy, thermal power plants take up only about l/50th of the land required
for generation of the same amount of power at current level of efficiencies.
Oil and Gas
As far as oil and gas is concerned, these resources in India are
not adequate to meet its growing requirements. Of the two, the price of oil
has been much more volatile. where the slightest increase puts tremendous
pressure on the economy.
Compared to oil, gas is cheaper and more environmentally friendly.
Though oil comprises 29 per cent of total primary commercial energy mix and
gas only 7 per cent, it is imperative that India’s dependence on oil and gas
as a source of energy is reduced to the extent possible by encouraging a
switch to other forms of energy, such as electricity which can be derived
from renewable sources.
The third source is renewable energy from solar- wind- biomass,
hydro and more such sources. It is also the most environment friendly.
Fortunately, being located in the tropics endows us with virtually unlimited
potential of solar and wind energy. The huge availability of biomass sources
in the form of crop residue, cattle dung, human waste and food waste, also
present large scale opportunities for biomass based energy production.
The prices of renewable sources, particularly solar and wind, have
been reduced drastically and are now almost at par with electricity
generated using coal.
However, the issue with renewable energy is its volatility,
uncertainty and seasonality. Further, solar energy, though at par with
thermal electricity in terms of cost, requires
more than 50 times the land to generate the same quantum of electricity as
from thermal power plants. This can become a limiting factor, even though
rooftops and farm land offer a solution.
Yet. while the issue of volatility and uncertainty is being
addressed by a number of economical storage solutions, the problem of
seasonality may still limit the full exploitation of this source. For this,
the conversion of solar energy into hydrogen and methanol would have to be
seriously researched and made viable.
Bio-energy can play a major role in strengthening the energy
basket of India. Biogas derived from cattle dung, human waste and vegetative
waste, can, to a very large extent, provide cooking solutions which are
cheap and environment friendly. Being cheaper, locally available and much
more environment friendly, it has the potential to replace LPG in rural
Biomass can also become the source of bio-fuel which would help in
reducing the requirement of petroleum oil.
Nuclear energy also constitutes a significant part of the energy
and electricity mix. However, unless the cost of nuclear reactors is
controlled significantly, electricity generated from nuclear reactors may
not be as cost effective as energy from renewable sources.
Government may consider budgetary support for non-electricity
components. Methanol, a liquid fuel produced from natural gas or coal, has
the potential to significantly alter the way gas or coal is used.
Methanol extracted from natural gas is likely to bring down
transportation costs compared to gas, which needs to be liquefied,
transported in liquid form at very low temperature (and at a significant
cost) and undergo re-gasification.
In India, access to energy for all at rational prices is of utmost
importance. As of June 2, 2019, access to electricity has been substantially
improved with a household electrification percentage of 99.99 per cent.
Providing clean, non-polluting cooking fuel in the form of LPG, to nearly
139 million people who are still dependent on biomass for cooking is also
within a reasonable time frame.
India improved its ranking in the Energy Transition Index
published by World Economic Forum (76th position). Its installed capacity
has increased from 3,44,002 MW in 2018 to 3,56,100.19 MW in 2019. Total
generation of energy during 2018-19 was 1376 BU (including imports and
renewable sources of energy). Union Budget 2019: Power Sector
Union Budget allocates Rs.16400.57 crore for power sector for this
financial year which is higher than Rs.1988.02 crore in comparison to last
The MM RE sector gets allocated Rs. 4653.45 crore and petroleum
sector Rs. 38982.05 crore for this financial year. The Union Budget 2019 for
power sector focus on electricity access. Followings are major announcement
in the budget:
The Government has continued its focus on energy access by setting
a target of providing an electricity connection and access to clean cooking
fuel to all rural households in the country (except those who are
unwilling). It claimed to already have connected 99 percent of the
households under Saubhagya and given out 7 crores LPG cylinders under
However, the challenge in energy access is not just of connection
but of accessibility and affordability. Focus on Rural Energy Access and
Fanners: New Ujjwala-type scheme that will promote solar stoves and battery
chargers. Private initiatives will be supported to develop renewable energy
as an alternate source of income for farmers. Focus on Distribution Reforms:
Performance of Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana (UDAY) is being
examined. Renewable Energy:
The renewable energy industry expected the Budget to provide some
impetus to revive growth. However, there is nothing specific in the Budget
in this regard.
When it comes to power sector, the Budget focused on structural
and tariff policy reforms to improve distribution sector efficiency. The
priority is well placed, as distribution sector efficiency is at the core of
all power sector challenges including 24x7 power supply, generation sector
stress, including inadequate demand for renewable energy. This is a massive
challenge for the Government.
Going by past experience, improving distribution sector's
efficiency requires broader structural reforms, such as carriage and content
separation proposed in the Electricity Act amendment.
Meanwhile, a key area that also needs dedicated attention is solar