DAVOS– India’s power sector is at an “inflection”, or turning, point, while most of its electricity consumed in the next two decades will come from burning fossil fuels, the World Economic Forum (WEF) said on Tuesday.
“India’s power sector is at an inflection point, given the government’s conviction that electricity is a critical enabler for economic growth,” the WEF said in a report, titled “The Future of Electricity in Fast-Growing Economies Attracting Investment to Provide Affordable, Accessible and Sustainable Power”, co-authored with Bain & Company and released here.
“Even with the huge investments in renewables, most of the electricity consumed in India over the next two decades will be generated by burning fossil fuel, and India can do much to improve the efficiency of the existing power infrastructure,” it said.
Calling for India to fix the viability of its distribution system and address fuel supply challenges, the report said tariffs and rates for fuel pricing, costs that are passed through to customers, and peak power policies and pricing should all be transparent and consistent across states.
Alignment between federal and state government objectives is critical, as India devolves significant power to the states, it added.
Noting that India’s plan to add 175 GW of capacity from renewables by 2022 can succeed only if the relevant stakeholders act in ways that encourage investment in the segment, the WEF report said: “Regulators can enforce the mechanisms underlying renewable purchase obligations (RPOs) and renewable generation obligations (RGOs), while also promoting open access for wind power.
“Critically, they should ensure long-term tariff consistency with no retroactive changes or flip-flops.”
The report also said non-Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries would have to double their annual investments in electricity from about $240 billion to $495 billion between 2015 and 2040, which would amount to a requirement of $13 trillion to meet energy policy objectives.
In this connection, Hindustan Powerprojects chairman Ratul Puri said India will take the centre stage at the World Economic Forum that is slated to start here on Wednesday.
“I am very certain that India is set to take the centre stage at World Economic Forum, Davos,” Puri said in a statement.
“If you look at the Indian infrastructure sector, it alone is ready to attract investments to the tune of $1.7 trillion in a scenario where globally there is dearth of good projects, according to a World Bank report,” he added.