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Power traders demand open access across India

According to reports, power trading experts have urged the Centre and the states to agree to provide open access to the available electricity in India for faster industrial and economic development by potentially reducing input costs.

The Electricity Act, 2003, provides for open access to energy which contributes the second largest chunk of 20-50% of the total cost of production, next only to raw materials. As such, easier energy availability for industrial development is an issue of paramount importance, said Puneet Goel, Director, Mittal Processors Pvt Ltd, which organised a one-day conclave on power markets in Ahmedabad on Friday.

Although open access to electricity may not reduce its price much due to the prevailing high input costs, it would make it easier for industries to procure power from their source of choice and also potentially reduce power tariff.

He said India now ranked low at 59th place in global competitiveness index of World Economic Forum. Compared to the USA and China (6.9 cents per unit), electricity charges in India are higher at 10 cents, thus making production rather uncompetitive

India’s enegy imports are expected to grow from 26% in 2007 to 40% in 2030 while the USA’s will decrease from 33% to 27%, due to shale gas availability, during this period.

Goel said open access could go a long way in making Indian costs more competitive as it would ease availability.

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