A Mixed Year – Hits and misses of 2021

The criticality of a robust power sector for India’s post-Covid journey of economic revival with climate consciousness cannot be overemphasised. Several recent policy initiatives are expected to go a long way in strengthening the In­dian power sector. These include inc­reas­­ed electrification due to schemes su­ch as the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gr­am Jyoti Yojana, the Ujwal Discom As­su­rance Yo­jana, the Integrated Power De­velop­ment Scheme and the Revamp­ed Distribution Sector Scheme (RDSS). To this end, India has a project investment of around Rs 335 billion (24 per cent) in the power sector as part of the National Infrastruc­ture Pipe­line and allocations are made in the Uni­on Budget 2021-22 of Rs 3,030 billion for the reforms-based RDSS over the next five years; and Rs 40 billion to invest in wind energy, solar energy and the green energy transmission corridor.

However, significant structural challen­ges threaten to derail these. There are im­peratives of changing our consumption and production pattern to mitigate the climate crisis, by accelerating our tra­nsition from thermal to renewable energy, wi­th its attendant costs and stranded as­set implications. India is decisively fast-tracking the transition of its energy so­urces to renewables – seeking to install 500 GW by 2030. The Covid crisis exacerbated the financial health of the sector, which must be addressed with urgency.

Please click here to read views by Amit Kapur published in Powerline.