Cabinet soon to take up changes to electricity act, says Power Minister Piyush Goyal

New Delhi, Dec 10: The proposals to amend the Electricity Act, 2003, will be ready soon for consideration by the cabinet, Power Minister Piyush Goyal said Wednesday.

"Soon we will come out with the electricity act amendments, hopefully in the next few days," Goyal said here at the Delhi Economic Conclave.

'Changes in electricity act soon'
He said last week here that the amendments would be tabled in the ongoing Winter Session of Parliament.

The proposed changes envisage strengthening the penalty provisions, increasing the penalty manifold and making them more enforceable.

Changes to the tariff policy are also being proposed, the minister had said. To encourage more competition in power distribution, it is proposed to give consumers a choice of companies for power supply, a ministry source told IANS.

Goyal said at an industry chamber CII event last week that reforms are also being planned in the distribution sector whereby the entire discom set-up will be unbundled.

"While there will be a government distributor of power to ensure that power is provided to the weaker sections of society, competition will be introduced and a private sector role in the sector," Goyal said.

To boost the wind energy sector, the government proposes to bring in amendments to the act introducing stricter penalties for failing to meet renewable purchase obligation (RPO) targets, Goyal, who is also Minister of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), had said here last week, launching the newly formed wind power producers and manufacturers' organisation called the Indian Wind Energy Allaince (IWEA).

Under the RPO (Renewable Purchase Obligation) system, the state power distribution companies have to mandatorily purchase electricity generated through renewable energy sources during the year.

The proposed changes, which the MNRE will place for the cabinet's consideration shortly, will also introduce the renewable generation obligation (RGO), which will make it compulsory for thermal power producers to generate electricity through renewables, Goyal said.

"We will have renewable generation obligations for companies setting up new projects that will require to have a 10 percent renewable component to the installed capacity they are setting up," he added.

Overall, the government was aiming at 2 trillion units of electricity generation by 2020, in which renewable sources are to account for 15 percent, Goyal said. The share of renewable energy is currently around 6 percent of a total base made up of 1 trillion units of electricity.


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