Key power sec­tor is­sues were de­bated by ex­perts at length in a se­ries of panel dis­cus­sions

Power Watch India - - CONTENTS -

15th Reg­u­la­tors and Pol­i­cy­mak­ers Re­treat

CII Green Power 2014

The 15th Reg­u­la­tors & Pol­i­cy­mak­ers Re­treat held in Goa saw scin­til­lat­ing de­bates on key power sec­tor is­sues even as util­i­ties from Gujarat, Delhi and West Ben­gal stole the show at the IPPAI awards func­tion. In the best per­form­ing reg­u­la­tors cat­e­gory, Kar­nataka Elec­tric­ity Reg­u­la­tory Com­mis­sion won the top award while the As­sam Elec­tric­ity Reg­u­la­tory Com­mis­sion ended up as the runner-up. Wel­spun En­ergy Pvt and A2Z In­fra­struc­ture bagged IPPAI awards for in­no­va­tive skills. Key power sec­tor is­sues were de­bated by ex­perts at length in a se­ries of panel dis­cus­sions. On Au­gust 1, ex­perts an­a­lysed the ris­ing coal and gas prices and warned that the In­dian in­dus­try could soon be­come un­com­pet­i­tive due to high elec­tric­ity costs if this trend is not checked. VK Garg, for­mer chair­man, joint Elec­tric­ity Reg­u­la­tory Com­mis­sion, Goa and Union Ter­ri­to­ries, sug­gested ra­tio­nal­is­ing rail freight to bring down coal costs for power gen­er­a­tion. Sushil Ma­roo, CEO, Es­sar Power, too sup­ported Garg’s sug­ges­tion. He said power plants should be set up near pit­heads to save on coal trans­porta­tion costs. As per an es­ti­mate, 80% of the coun­try’s coal-based gen­er­a­tion ca­pac­ity is lo­cated away from coal sources. In some of th­ese cases, coal trans­porta­tion charges alone con­trib­ute to more than Re 1 of the elec­tric­ity tar­iff. Asheesh Sharma, MD, Ma­ha­rash­tra State Power Gen­er­at­ing Com­pany Ltd, said that Coal In­dia should pro­vide the same qual­ity of coal that it com­mits to pro­vide. He added that un­til this qual­ity is­sue is re­solved, do­mes­tic coal pric­ing should not be linked to the in­ter­na­tional mar­ket. Gopal Sax­ena, Direc­tor, BSES, said he was wor­ried about the le­gal sta­tus of reg­u­la­tory as­sets. En­ergy costs of the in­dus­try in the US, China, and Europe are ex­pected to fall in the com­ing years due to the shale gas revo­lu­tion in those coun­tries, even as the elec­tric­ity tar­iff rises at an alarm­ing pace in In­dia. In this con­text, Harry Dhaul, Direc­tor Gen­eral, IPPAI, warned that over the next 5-10 years, the In­dian in­dus­try could see a dras­tic ero­sion in com­petive­ness vis-à-vis man­u­fac­tur­ers from th­ese coun­tries if effective ways are not found to cut power costs. On Au­gust 2, for­mer Union power min­is­ter Suresh Prabhu and Sal­man Khur­shid, for­mer ex­ter­nal af­fairs min­is­ter, de­bated the is­sue of trans­parency in public pol­icy for­mu­la­tion.

“A pol­icy-mak­ing state­ment should be made in par­lia­ment, only then will it have the stamp of au­thor­ity so that no agency will raise ques­tions over it. This will also bring trans­parency, clar­ity, and sta­bil­ity in the pol­icy regime,” Prabhu said in re­ply to Khur­shid’s re­mark that in­ves­ti­ga­tion agen­cies of­ten get sus­pi­cious when the gov­ern­ment pur­sues pol­i­cy­mak­ing in a sec­tor proac­tively. On Au­gust 3, Anurag Goel, Mem­ber, Com­pe­ti­tion Com­mis­sion of In­dia, called for im­prov­ing gover­nance to bring trans­parency and sta­bil­ity in the coun­try’s economic pol­icy.

Is­sues in sanc­tity of con­tract, EA2003, fuel sup­ply is­sue and price un­cer­tainty, geopol­i­tics of en­ergy se­cu­rity, tap­ping the po­ten­tial of waste heat to power, and en­ergy con­ser­va­tion were other key top­ics that were dis­cussed at length in the con­fer­ence.

L to R: Harry Dhaul, Direc­tor Gen­eral, IPPAI, in con­ver­sa­tion with JD Kulka­rni, Ed­i­tor of Pow­erWatch In­dia.

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