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Coal India will set up 1,000 Megawatt solar power generation capacity: Piyush Goyal

According to reports, power, coal, mines and renewable energy minister Piyush Goyal has announced that state-owned miner Coal India Ltd (CIL) will set up 1,000 Megawatt (Mw) solar power generation capacity in a bid to reduce its carbon footprint.

“Power PSUs are working on switching to renewable energy sources for generation of power. Coal India is also working to set up 1 GW of solar power generation. We will continue to work towards achieving 10 GW of renewable power capacity addition,” Goyal said here during a press briefing on Monday.

Highlighting the achievements of his ministries in the past three years, Goyal also stated that India crossed major milestones in its mission of achieving 175 GW of renewable power by 2022 in the previous financial year.

“By introducing competitive bidding, the government has ensured that renewable energy is affordable and attractive for consumers. This year we saw the lowest tariffs in both solar (Rs 2.44 per unit) and wind (Rs 3.46 per unit) energy,” Goyal said.

According to a statement issued by the ministry, 2016-17 also marked the first year when net capacity addition of renewable energy was higher than that of conventional energy. In addition, the past year also saw the highest ever addition of solar and wind power, the statement added.

Speaking on stressed hydro and thermal projects, Goyal said that the government is working on reviving the projects and is close to finding a resolution. “We have had very exciting engagement amongst all the stakeholders with the banks and financial institutions, REC and PFC along with officials from the state and central government. We have come very close to a resolution mechanism for at least those stressed power plants where the promoters are not found to be wilful defaulters,” he said.

Goyal also added the bankers are taking very proactive steps to take-over the plants which have defaulted. “We are working on solving the stress in the hydro power projects also. You are aware that Shree Maheshwar Hydel Power project has started. We have asked the state governments if they or the bankers can take over the stressed plants then we can look at finding the solutions to resolve the hydro projects also keeping in mind the economic feasibility,” Goyal said.

The minister also informed that Niti Aayog is in the process of drafting an energy policy for the next 25-30 years. “We will have an evolutionary and a dynamic energy policy which will keep changing with evolving technologies of the world. As of now we are trying to ensure that the maximum amount of clean energy that can be fed into the grid is being brought into use and it also leads to low cost energy. Coal will continue to be the base load of power and we will continue to support new coal plants,” Goyal said.

The ministry also said in a statement India became a net exporter of electricity in 2016-17. Goyal said the concept of “One Nation, One Grid, One Price” was further strengthened with surplus electricity available at affordable rates.

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