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Chandrababu rules out power tariff hike in AP
Expecting early Lok Sabaha elections in the country, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu, who already launched ‘TDP Door to Door’ political campaign activity to meet one crore families in person, has categorically rejected the proposal of increasing power tariff for 2018-19 FY. As the revenue gap of State power utilities increasing, the officers proposed to raise electricity tariff.
“Try to reduce from present charges, if not, maintain the same,” the Chief Minister told the officals.
In a meeting held on Energy Department on Wednesday, the CM said, “Public convenience and interest is the first to my Government. We must overcome all difficulties and prevent any hike in the power tariff”.
State's Power Minister K. Kala Venkata Rao, Chief Secretary Dineshkumar, Principle Secretaries Sai Prasad, Ajay Jain, Transco and Genco CMD K. Vijayanand, SPDCL CMD Naik and others participated in the meeting.
While the revenue of APDISCOMs this year has been 25,290 crore, the expenditure has been 27,621 crore. Officials said that there are number of reasons for this loss, including limited hydel power generation and increase in variable cost of CGS stations.
The projected growth in the next 2 years is 9.02% in the energy sector. The projections for the next 10 years included the retirement of old power plants (RTPP, VTPS I, II, III) and capacity additions through incremental solar power additions and storage of solar energy.
The government subsidy will be increased at 10% per year for the next two years and maintained at ?4,500 crore from the financial year 2019-2020.
The officials also proposed cost effective options for power procurement, and included Lanco and Spectrum which have the least prices of 3.6 and 3.88 per unit.
Officials proposed that the Tariff Based Competitive Bidding (TBCB) model, which is currently in being followed by five other states, will result in a significant drop in tariff. Inter-state transmission projects have witnessed almost a 50% drop and intra-state projects have witnessed almost a 30% drop.
The department will ensure that the TBCB route will be implemented for intra-state transmission projects in Andhra Pradesh.
Another opportunity in the energy sector will be the sale of surplus power to third parties through traders. The net savings will be ?173 crore from the sale of 1,089 million units by March 2018 to Goa, Punjab, Bihar, Uttarakhand.
The Chief Minister told them that thermal and hydel power must be utilized efficiently to ensure that the cost of electricity is maintained at a low standard.
The Chief Minister has instructed officials to start the first phase of using solar energy throughout the state. He directed them to set up solar plants across the state with a total capacity of 400 MW in the range of 33/11 kV power sub stations. While the solar panels will supply electricity in the daytime, the surplus will be connected to the grid, stored or sold per unit.
The reports submitted said that in April – August 2017, as compared to the previous year, the energy sector has witnessed an overall growth of 7.3%.
Wind and solar energy have contributed the most to the sector with 17% and 5% of the total energy produced. Their growths have been phenomenal at 154% and 183% respectively. Today, in the state, wind energy has a capacity of 3,765 MW and solar energy has a capacity of 1,994 MW.
One of the key steps taken by the state government is the commissioning of the world’s largest solar park of a capacity of 1,000MW. For the first time in the country, 15,000 solar pump sets have been installed across the state.
“World class technologies must be adopted, agriculture must be supported by energy-efficient solutions across Andhra Pradesh. All 16 lakh pump sets must be replaced with solar and energy saving pump sets”, Naidu said.
Other energy efficient initiatives are the distribution of 2.16 crore LED bulbs, 2.55 lakh low energy consumption fans under DEFP and the installation of 40 lakh LED street lights in gram panchayats.
The Chief Minister told the department that outsourcing man power must stop, and sub-stations and other power-infrastructure must be planned based on demand and supply.
He directed them to work on more energy saving options, and invest in increasing storage capacity of solar energy with better technology.
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