Minister of Energy (Power) Sets Lofty Targets

Minister of Energy (Power) Sets Lofty Targets

Piyush Goyal is the current Minister of State with Independent Charge for Power, Coal, and New & Renewable Energy in the Government of India. A graduate of law and accountancy, Goyal was a management consultant and an investment banker before he became a full-time politician. He has participated in Leadership Programs at Yale University (2011), and Princeton University (2013).

Piyush Goyal
Piyush Goyal

At the India Economic Summit held in the first week of November in New Delhi, Goyal declared that  government-owned Coal India Limited (CIL) was looking to double its production of coal to a billion tonnes in the next five years. CIL had a large initial public offering of shares in 2010 and is among India’s most valuable companies by market capitalization. It produces about 80% of India’s coal.

Goyal, who is also minister for New and Renewable Energy, said a “huge investment opportunity” of nearly $250 billion beckons in the energy sector over the next four to five years, including $100 billion in renewables and $50 billion in transmission and distribution. “I see investments also coming into wind (energy) with the re-introduction of the fiscal benefits that were earlier available,” he said.  In the area of solar energy in particular, Indian manufacturers have asked for the scrapping of the inverted duty structure, whereby finished goods are taxed at lower rates than imported raw materials. The government has been looking to resolve this issue since it hampers manufacturers in the solar energy sector, Goyal promised at the Summit.

“This government is sincere in giving electrical power to all Indian citizens,” the minister added. Emphasizing that renewable sources of energy are one of the thrust areas of the government, Goyal said his ministry was eager to expand solar energy production in India to 100 GW by 2019.

Prime Minister Modi, has made a commitment to bring uninterrupted power to all India’s people — a key plank of his government’s program. To achieve that, Goyal said, India needed to rapidly raise the amount of coal it mined for power generation, cut back on electricity lost on transmission lines and through theft, and promote the use of renewable resources such as solar and wind energy. Coal, which generates about three-fifths of the country’s energy, would retain an “essential role” in India’s energy mix, as in the United States.



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