Power Minister Piyush Goyal said India can't give up fossil fuel use in the near future. (File)
Keeping in view India's development imperatives over the next decade, India cannot completely drop fossil fuels from its energy basket in the near future according to Power Minister Piyush Goyal.
Instead, he said, India must strike a balance between conventional and renewable sources of energy and environmental concerns.
Pointing out that the government was taking steps to enhance use of alternate sources of energy Mr Goyal said the prices of solar energy had come down by 40 per cent in just 18 months. He also said that India had revised its solar energy target upwards - nearly five times - to 100 GW in the next six years. His ministry, he said, was also concentrating on other sources of renewable energy like wind and hydro energy.
The government is also looking to speed up hydro projects like Teesta and Subansiri which have faced several delays and cost overruns in the past few years. Mr Goyal said that such delays send a wrong signal to investors.
Since India remains heavily dependent on coal for meeting its power needs, the minister said that government agencies were collaborating with IITs and international universities to develop state-of-art technologies like clean coal technology, carbon capture and use, and coal bed methane technologies.
Besides, Mr Goyal said, that the power ministry had discontinued the repair of old and inefficient thermal power plants and was instead concentrating on building super critical power plants in the future to reduce dependence on coal.
He also said that the achievement of 'One Nation, One Grid, One Price' - India's ambitious power production and distribution national grid - remained a priority. It would create a robust transmission grid network where affordable power would be made seamlessly available across the country, at one price.