NEW DELHI, June 4: The government is planning to save $2 billion in four years by cutting down on energy usage by 10,000 MW during peak hours by promoting LED lights, Power, Coal and Renewable Energy Minister Piyush Goyal said today.
"The plan is to cut down energy demand by nearly 10,000 MW in peak hours by changing to LED lights in street and homes by 2019. This itself will save power to the tune of $2 billion," Goyal said in a question and answer session with Facebook users.
Apart from this, the government is focusing on star rated appliances and improving industrial energy efficiency for an overall saving of about 100 billion units a year, that is 10 percent of country's current consumption, he said.
"I hope to utilise these savings to power the homes of 280 million Indians deprived of energy access, sadly, 67 years after independence," Goyal said.
Apart from lowering LED lights prices, Goyal said the government is taking steps to boost rooftop solar power production.
"We are hoping to scale the demand for rooftop solar and in the next seven years - we have plans to roll out 40,000 MW for rooftop solar, which is massive. Concurrently, we will start procurement through reverse bidding which should help bring down the prices. To what extent the prices will come down, I cannot say at this point," he said.
On forecast of a deficient monsoon, the Minister said, "Obviously a deficient monsoon is a matter of concern to all policymakers. We are preparing ourselves to increase coal-based power generation significantly, just like we did last year due to delayed monsoon, so that it can compensate for the lower hydel power and meet the increased demand of a agrarian pumps to provide water."
Further, based on the need assessment in different areas, supplementary public works will be initiated to provide alternate employment, he said adding fortunately, the food stocks are at comfortable levels.
On huge transmission loss, Goyal said the problem was more sever in eastern and northern parts.
"In states like Bihar, it's upwards of 40 percent. We have started two new schemes for rural and urban areas focused on upgrading the T&D infrastructure by feeder segregation of powerlines to farms, extensive metering along transmission corridors, smart meters, and advanced communication systems to integrate consumption data with billing so that we can address this problem of power theft and distribution losses," he said.
Goyal also said government is taking comprehensive steps to check coal mafia operating in mines including installation of CCTVs to boost output especially in eastern region mines.