Mr Anil Sardana, a power sector veteran has nicely summarised the challenges being faced by the power sector and possible remedies to revive the power sector in his editorial in ET (http://blogs.economictimes.indiatimes.com/et-commentary/the-target-on-renewable-power-must-be-reassessed/)
The key takeaway from the article is that there is an urgent need to boost the power offtake.
One of the option suggested is for effecting a reduction in tariff for industrial sector which can induce setting up of more manufacturing units on the assumption that the existing higher power tariff is perhaps acting as a deterrant in more manufacturing units from coming up.
This question of whether the power tariff is the sole factor that is inhibiting new manufacturing from coming up or whether there are other factors which could be contributing, is a debatable one.
The article has unfortunately missed out a low hanging fruit for boosting the power offtake which is “Electrification Of Transportation”. India being the third largest oil importer in the world, and with the power sector gasping for oxygen, it is a no brainer to conclude that the power sector should pro-actively diversify in promoting / manufacturing Electric vehicles in a big way.
Tata group which is into power generation, distribution & also in automobile manufacturing is uniquely positioned to cause a tectonic shift from ICE to EV. To start with, since Tata group is into distribution both in Delhi & Mumbai they could easily convert the public transport system- buses, cabs, 3 wheelers, LCVs to electric. Tata motors can lease out the vehicle and Tata Power can lease out the battery and coupled with the Fame scheme can make the EVs a viable option and immediately start the transition process. Delhi and Mumbai can both absorb immediately 1000 buses & 1000 cabs each.
This makes economic sense for Tata Power Delhi since the present problem with Delhi Discom is the mismatch between daytime and night time power demand and the EV batteries can help in boosting power consumption in the night time.
Instead of reassessment of generation capacity ( coal or renewable ), power sector needs to embrace EVs. Large scale adoption of EVs is the natural cure not only for power sector’s ailments but also for improving the overall health of the country which can only be achieved by the power sector taking up a more pro-active role rather than being on the sidelines and being a mute spectator.
It is rather unfortunate that in spite of the power sector being the biggest beneficiary of EVs, it is silently watching while companies like Google & Apple have already got into the act.
Whether it is going to be a power plant on wheels or a computer on wheels, the ultimate beneficiary will be the electron generators. One wonders what is it that the power sector is waiting for when the answer is right in front.