Creating demand for surplus energy key challenge of government policies: Secretaries
India’s energy sector has turned around from an era of scarcity and faces a problem of plenty, making demand creation a key driver of government policy, secretaries of power, coal and renewable energy said. The country has about 25,000 Mw of idle and underutilised electricity generation capacity as private companies set up power plants in anticipation of high prices, Power Secretary PK Pujari said at the launch of ETEnergyworld.com.Surplus production was also a problem in the coal sector, Coal Secretary Anil Swarup said. “Earlier, I was pressurised for coal deficit, now for surplus… I have coal, I have rakes, I don’t have demand,” Swarup said at a panel discussion on his sector. In the renewable energy sector, the ambitious expansion of solar energy was worrying distribution companies, which had their own power generation units, but the government would resolve the matter, Renewable Energy Secretary Upendra Tripathy said.He said the government was in talks with distribution companies for faster adoption of rooftop solar projects. India plans to achieve 100 Gw of solar power generation and 60 Gw of wind power by 2022.Currently, installed solar capacity is around 5,700 Mw and wind over 25,000 Mw. Sector experts and officials say that the rapid expansion in renewable energy poses several challenges of transmission and grid stability as well as reluctance of state discoms to support the sector.