17th Reg­u­la­tors and Pol­i­cy­mak­ers Re­treat (RPR 2016)

Power Watch India - - EVENTS -

The In­de­pen­dent Power Pro­duc­ers As­so­ci­a­tion of In­dia in­au­gu­rated the 17th Reg­u­la­tors and Pol­icy-mak­ers Re­treat (RPR 2016) at The Lalit Golf and Spa Re­sort in Goa in the pres­ence of Nitin Gad­kari, Min­is­ter of Road Trans­port and High­ways of In­dia.

The theme for this year was “In­dia – Meet­ing the As­pi­ra­tions?” The event looks at the as­pi­ra­tions of young In­di­ans keep­ing in mind the ways of im­prov­ing their liv­ing stan­dards by bench­mark­ing it to the western nar­ra­tive of de­vel­op­ment. The ‘haves and have nots de­bate’ now has in­fected the en­tire pop­u­la­tion, thanks to the ever-in­creas­ing aware­ness amongst young In­dia cour­tesy the in­for­ma­tion rev­o­lu­tion. The re­treat went to the roots and ex­am­ined the rel­e­vance, ef­fi­cacy and prac­ti­ca­bil­ity of the western de­vel­op­men­tal model in the In­dian con­text.

Nitin Gad­kari while ad­dress­ing the theme of the con­fer­ence – “In­dia- Meet­ing the As­pi­ra­tions?” said, “We need to start an agri­cul­tural rev­o­lu­tion in In­dia us­ing cheap elec­tric­ity for farm­ers from pit-head power plants and urea pro­duced us­ing do­mes­ti­cally avail­able Coal Bed Meth­ane (CBM) or coal gasi­fi­ca­tion. Ex­pen­sive urea im­ports from China would not be re­quired.”

“In­no­va­tion in wa­ter man­age­ment in­clud­ing de-silt­ing of rivers, us­ing in­no­va­tive check dams for mi­cro irrigation rather than big hy­dro projects are re­quired. “Re­fer­ring to the vi­a­bil­ity of the power sec­tor, he said: “how can coal prices vary with­out power prices cor­re­spond­ingly vary­ing? The power sec­tor would not sur­vive. In the past, state gov­ern­ments have given too much im­por­tance on in­creas­ing the gen­er­a­tion ca­pac­ity with­out giv­ing due im­por­tance to the trans­mis­sion and dis­tri­bu­tions seg­ments in the power sec­tor. With the ad­vance­ments of new tech­nol­ogy and in­no­va­tions, sig­nif­i­cant growth is ex­pected in the In­dian power sec­tor and the agri­cul­ture sec­tor will be one of the ben­e­fi­cia­ries of such growth.”

“The gov­ern­ment needs to fo­cus on the agri­cul­ture sec­tor and pro­vide 24/7 elec­tric­ity to ru­ral ar­eas at low prices. He also ex­pressed con­fi­dence in the gov­ern­ment’s plan to rev­o­lu­tionise the agri­cul­ture and irrigation sec­tor in In­dia.”

He also said that some laws re­gard­ing en­vi­ron­ment and forests ac­tu­ally cre­ate a hin­drance in eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment.

Fur­ther, Gad­kari, stressed the need for a trans­port rev­o­lu­tion in In­dia through de­vel­op­ment of multi-modal trans­port us­ing in­land wa­ter­ways 20p/ km; rail Re1/km and road Re 1.50/km, in that or­der of pri­or­ity to rad­i­cally bring down trans­port costs in the In­dian econ­omy.

He said that there is also a “Need to de­velop In­dia into in­no­va­tion hot­bed just like USA”.

Union Rail­ways Min­is­ter Suresh Prabhu, in a video con­fer­ence, ex­plained how the coun­try is un­der­go­ing mas­sive trans­for­ma­tion in the In­dian power sec­tor through a pro-ac­tive ap­proach and bet­ter poli­cies and reg­u­la­tions. He said, “Rick­shaw, taxi and train will be in­te­grated in the scheme for multi-modal trans­port.”

Piyush Goyal, the Min­is­ter of State with In­de­pen­dent Charge for Power, Coal, New and Re­new­able En­ergy, in a pre-recorded mes­sage, said that the UDAY scheme is the most sig­nif­i­cant step ever taken to re­move the financial con­straints in the dis­tri­bu­tion seg­ment and will bring ef­fi­ciency in the work­ings of the state elec­tric­ity dis­tri­bu­tion com­pa­nies.”

Sup­ported by the Min­istry of Power, Min­istry of Coal, Min­istry of New and Re­new­able En­ergy and Pun­jab State Elec­tric­ity Reg­u­la­tory Com­mis­sion, RPR 2016 aims to trig­ger out-of-the-box think­ing by in­ter­spers­ing the in­tel­lec­tual and the es­o­teric with the day-to-day is­sues of the power sec­tor to pro­voke thoughts and bring out cre­ativ­ity in the minds of pol­icy-mak­ers and reg­u­la­tors.

The RPR is a plat­form for en­gag­ing with cere­bral per­sons in the in­dus­try and across sec­tors. It has won for it­self a po­si­tion of dis­tinc­tion and has been recog­nised as a con­flu­ence of in­no­va­tive and in­for­ma­tive flow of ideas and knowl­edge.

The event span­ning 3.5 days in­cluded 10 ses­sions, 75 + speak­ers, 1 master class, 300 + par­tic­i­pants, and 25 + awards.

Key topics of de­bates and de­lib­er­a­tions in­cluded: Meet­ing the as­pi­ra­tions – In­fi­nite de­sires and fi­nite re­sources; coal and power sur­plus – what stops In­dian con­sumers from get­ting 24x7 power?; trans­mis­sion chal­lenges and the way for­ward; smart In­dia – smart en­ergy, smart wa­ter, smart trans­porta­tion, smart se­cu­rity; civil nu­clear li­a­bil­ity – im­pact on fresh in­vest­ments, de­vel­op­ment and main-stream­ing of nu­clear power; the roadmap and the chal­lenges for so­lar and wind; and en­vi­ron­ment: In­dia to meet the en­ergy de­mands of 1.25 billion peo­ple through a low car­bon tra­jec­tory/strat­egy?

Par­tic­i­pants also at­tended a master class by the IPPAI Reg­u­la­tory and Pol­icy Re­search In­sti­tute. This ses­sion will lay spe­cial fo­cus on the reg­u­la­tory as­pects of the power sec­tor and the way for­ward.

IPPAI with sup­port from knowl­edge part­ner Deloitte or­gan­ised the 5th edi­tion of the IPPAI Power Awards in Septem­ber. The awards recog­nised and re­warded in­dus­try in­no­va­tion and out­stand­ing

per­for­mance and hon­oured the top en­ergy sec­tor con­trib­u­tors through­out In­dia.

The event also saw the launch of IPPAI’s knowl­edge doc­u­ment ‘Pow­er­ing In­dia in 2017 and Be­yond’ (pub­lished by Speak­ing Tiger Pub­lish­ing), which sheds light on some of the key is­sues fac­ing In­dia’s power sec­tor in par­tic­u­lar and the en­ergy sec­tor in gen­eral.

The sec­ond day of the 17th Reg­u­la­tors and Pol­icy-mak­ers Re­treat (RPR) 2016 got off to a great start with some thought-pro­vok­ing and in­spir­ing mes­sages on how to meet as­pi­ra­tions of the com­mon man. Dur­ing the first ses­sion, for­mer Union Min­is­ter Man­ish Te­wari said that a strong po­lit­i­cal will is needed to ful­fil the as­pi­ra­tions of 1.24 billion peo­ple in In­dia and new gov­er­nance stan­dards will raise the pro­file of politi­cians and how they func­tion as public rep­re­sen­ta­tives. “There is no need to change the eco­nomic growth model. Growth with eq­uity re­mains the need of the hour. Pros­per­ity can­not be for a few at the ex­clu­sion of the rest,” he said.

Ram Vi­las Paswan, Union Min­is­ter of Food and Public Dis­tri­bu­tion, talked about the la­tent anger of the op­pressed classes brim­ming over and the need to ad­dress their is­sues. He said that re­newed faith in the cen­tral lead­er­ship has led to the ad­vent of new re­forms in var­i­ous sec­tors and the gov­ern­ment is tack­ling the is­sue of food se­cu­rity to mil­lions of peo­ple. He said “We are com­put­er­is­ing PDS/food sys­tems and in­stalling cam­eras to check theft and adul­ter­ation. We re­moved 2.5 lakh fraud­u­lent re- cip­i­ents from the Public Dis­tri­bu­tion Sys­tem which saved us Rs 14,000 crore!”

Arun Goyal, Ad­di­tional Sec­re­tary, Gov­ern­ment of In­dia, Project Mon­i­tor­ing Group, Prime Min­is­ter’s Of­fice (PMO), em­pha­sised the need to in­vest more in the trans­mis­sion sec­tor and in­tro­duc­tion of Public-Pri­vate Part­ner­ships (PPP) in the trans­mis­sion projects. He added that there are ap­prox­i­mately 50 projects which are still pend­ing for get­ting ap­proval and we have 50 GW of stressed power as on date. He said “The Project Mon­i­tor­ing Group at PMO is help­ing stranded in­fra­struc­ture projects get clear­ances. Com­pa­nies in the power sec­tor are tremen­dously ben­e­fit­ing from this.”

Dr Ajay Mathur, DG, TERI, ad­dressed the au­di­ence of the chang­ing na­ture of en­ergy de­mand in In­dia and that we are wit­ness­ing a case of de­mand­sup­ply mis­match in the In­dian power sec­tor which is im­pact­ing all the stake­hold­ers. He said that there is need for an ad­di­tional set of reg­u­la­tions that pri­mar­ily fo­cus on the is­sue of de­mand sup­ply sit­u­a­tion in our coun­try. He ad­mit­ted that the in­stalled ca­pac­ity of In­dia has achieved a re­mark­able level. How­ever, the point is that the over­all plant load fac­tor (PLF) of gen­er­at­ing plants is de­creas­ing year-onyear. There is a change in the peak de­mand sce­nario, most of the con­sump­tion is dur­ing the af­ter­noon peak and evening peak as the use of air con­di­tion­ers is com­mon by com­mer­cial as well as res­i­den­tial con­sumers. The way for­ward he sug­gested is that there is a need to have change in reg­u­la­tions and also need to study the change in pat­tern of de­mand.

Di­nesh Paruchuri, JMD, APTRANSCO, said that there are still many chal­lenges in the trans­mis­sion sec­tor of our coun­try. He said, “One of the im­por­tant is­sues is the avail­abil­ity of the trans­mis­sion net­work for evac­u­a­tion of 175 GW of re­new­able to be in­stalled by 2022. Se­condly, there is a need to strengthen the fore­cast­ing and sched­ul­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties and proper man­age­ment of the grid sys­tem.”

The 17th RPR 2016 came to a suc­cess­ful end with some thought-pro­vok­ing and in­spir­ing mes­sages on how to meet the as­pi­ra­tions of the com­mon man.

Sup­ported by the Min­istry of Power, Min­istry of Coal, Min­istry of New and Re­new­able En­ergy and Pun­jab State Elec­tric­ity Reg­u­la­tory Com­mis­sion, RPR 2016 aimed to trig­ger out-of-the-box think­ing by in­ter­spers­ing the in­tel­lec­tual and the es­o­teric with the day-to-day is­sues of the power sec­tor to pro­voke thoughts and bring out cre­ativ­ity in the minds of pol­icy-mak­ers and reg­u­la­tors.

Ac­cord­ing to Harry Dhaul, Di­rec­tor Gen­eral, IPPAI, “To­day the power sec­tor is in a state of flux. While the gov­ern­ment has been tak­ing var­i­ous proac­tive steps, there are still is­sues that need to be

ad­dressed. Through this con­fer­ence, we have tried to bring all stake­hold­ers under one roof to de­lib­er­ate and chalk out a roadmap to make the en­tire power eco-sys­tem in sync with each other. We are hope­ful that through this con­fer­ence, we would be able to ex­am­ine the key chal­lenges and dis­cuss pos­si­ble so­lu­tions which can be ben­e­fi­cial to the na­tion.”

Ac­cord­ing to Ravi Arya, Pres­i­dent-Ther­mal, Hin­dus­tan Power Projects, “This con­fer­ence has been a good re­al­ity check on where we stand to­day in the power sec­tor. Var­i­ous vi­tal is­sues came up for dis­cus­sion and all the views and counter views were put on the ta­ble which will serve the sec­tor well in grasp­ing the real is­sues and chal­lenges. It was pleas­ing to see such a high par­tic­i­pa­tion es­pe­cially the rec­om­men­da­tions to the reg­u­la­tors in the area of in­creas­ing de­mand for power; ad­dress­ing grid sta­bil­ity, en­cour­ag­ing dis­coms to cut dis­tri­bu­tion losses etc, could help solve some of the critical chal­lenges to­wards achiev­ing 24x7 power for all.”

The RPR is a plat­form for en­gag­ing with cere­bral per­sons in the in­dus­try and across sec­tors. It has won for it­self a po­si­tion of dis­tinc­tion and has been recog­nised as a con­flu­ence of in­no­va­tive and in­for­ma­tive flow of ideas and knowl­edge.

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