Confederation concerns

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The failure of the electricity sector in India to reach its target for installation of new power capacity under the Eighth Plan is being viewed as a major concern by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). Barely one third of the national 16,000 MW target was reached during the period -- a dismal conclusion which prompted the CII to organise last month's energy summit (main story). This included an international exhibition which showcased the latest developments in the power sector, including energy conservation, renewables and US clean coal technology.

The CII promised to interact with MNES and the government on recommendations made by the summit's wind energy committee. These included creating greater awareness of the part wind can play in the economy and gaining permission for third party sales by states. "The industrial sector must play a part as users of the technology," said Arvinder Singh, chairman of CII's renewables committee. "We are keen that all CII members must use some form of renewables."

A member of CII's National Commission on Renewable Energy, A.K. Vohra, emphasised the need for formulating a comprehensive policy dealing with renewables and urged the central government to announce it by the end of the year. "A stipulation should be fixed for the SEBs [State Electricity Boards] that 2% of power they generate should be from renewables. "Bulk users of commercial energy should be accessible to renewable generators, he said. Vohra also suggested that financial credit for renewable energy equipment should be available through branches of nationalised banks.

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