Ministry of Power Current Affairs - 2020

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Major Relief Measures by Power Ministry during Lock Down

On March 28, 2020, the Ministry of Power approved major relief measures to provide power supply 24/7 to all the consumers. In order to achieve this the generation, transmission and distribution operations are to run continuously round the clock

What is the issue?

In India, 70% of power generation is coal based. Therefore, it is important to maintain the continuity of coal supply. Also, due to lock down the consumers have not paid their dues. This has affected the liquidity positions of the distribution companies.

Steps taken

The Ministry of Power has issued directions to the Central Electricity Regulatory commission. According to the guidelines, the commission is to provide moratorium of three months to the Discoms in order to make payments to the generating companies.

What are Discoms?

A Discom is Distribution Company (in India). These are companies that are not generating power by themselves. Rather they buy power from some one else and distribute it to the consumers.

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International Energy Agency: India the third largest producer of Electricity

On March 19, 2020, the Ministry of Power quoted International Energy Agency ranking in the Parliament. According to the ranking, India is the third largest producer of electricity in the world. Also, it is ranked 106th in terms of per capital consumption.

Highlights

India has now become power surplus from power deficit. Therefore, it is currently focusing on supply of quality power to consumers. As of December 2019, the National Electric Grid had an installed capacity of 368.79 GW.

Issues

Though India has surplus power, the country lacks adequate infrastructure. Still around 136 million Indians use traditional fuels such as agricultural waste, firewood, dry animal dung fuel for cooking and heating needs. This affects their health badly. According to WHO, more than 300,000 to 400,000 people in India die due to indoor air pollution.

Coal based electricity

Today, India’s power production is dominated by coal. As of May 2019, 72% of India’s electricity was generated from coal-based power plants. However, several energy institutes predict that dependence of India on coal is to reduce. For instance, the BP Energy Outlook, 2019 says that India’s primary energy consumption is to decline from 56% (2017) to 48% in 2040.

India is slowly shifting towards other sources of energy, especially solar energy. India has set a target of achieving 175 GW of renewable energy. Of this, 100 GW is to be solar power.

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