The energy sector in India is being transformed with a focus on the core issues of access, stability in energy production, sustainability and improved efficiency.
From the energy access perspective, only 3,618 of the 18,453 villages identified are left to be electrified (expected to be completed by 2018) under the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY) programme, which was introduced in 2015. The country on the whole has achieved 75% household electrification, which is expected to be completed by 2022.
This transformation in India’s energy sector has been enabled through efficient governance, with the creation of synergies between different departments—such as the Ministry of Power, Coal, and New and Renewable Energy—and increased transparency in natural resource allocation through the introduction of an online auction process (e.g. coal block, solar park and wind power project auctions). Online portals and mobile apps for tracking the progress and disseminate information have further brought necessary transparency and speed to decision making.
One Nation, One Grid, One Price: India is transitioning to a stable and secure single grid with not a single major disturbance since May 2014, with a vision of moving towards a single per unit price of electricity across regions.
Competitive bidding has been introduced for large solar and wind power projects, leading to the discovery of low marginal tariffs. The UDAY scheme was rolled out in 2015 to reduce aggregate technical and commercial (AT&C) losses and create headroom for investments in distribution infrastructure. In addition, all states in India onboarded 24x7 ‘Power for All’, a joint initiative of the government of India and state governments to provide round-the-clock electricity to all, with the DDUGJY scheme ensuring electrification of all villages.
In order to tap India’s hydropower potential, there is a need for a comprehensive policy framework. Issues ranging from land acquisition to large gestation periods need to be resolved so that India can benefit from environmentally friendly, low-cost hydropower. Similarly, commercial choices need to be exercised while developing the next wave of nuclear power through ongoing domestic pressurised water reactor (PWR) programmes or through the adoption of international technology.
Markets Leader, PwC India
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