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Interaction | May 2016

Growth in renewable and efficient power units will be in focus

Naveen Somani, Director, Inland Power

As a private player, do you think that the power sector in India has been given a major boost in the last two years?

India´s private power sector has been deeply affected by various policy issues, and coal shortages along with problems of off take in discoms. Barring discom issues, most of the other issues have been genuinely tried to be resolved by the Government over the last 2 years and few more ease of the sector are in the pipeline.

What ´structural reforms´ would you suggest to bring about a change in the power generation sector?
The power sector will benefit from a change in the financial viability of distribution companies and whatever the method might be; but collection has to be made from each small and big user as per the tariff and in turn tariff has to reflect the purchase prices of electricity.

By when can we expect a fresh set of power generation projects? Kindly update us on your own thermal power project in Jharkhand. What is the status of the second phase?
With the advent of the renewable era, we feel that large solar capacity addition will cater to day time needs and that the coal-based plants shall be base load plants and for peak period in evening. We are generating energy from waste, and we have been facilitated for the same by the government of Jharkhand. We plan to start our second plant soon.

Your first phase was set up using CBCF technology, what are the challenges you faced while executing this project using the same?
A lot of people including bankers had apprehension regarding the technology and its implementation and we had to convince them by presentations. Also we required specialised people for implementation of the same.

In terms of advancement, how is supercritical technology likely to bring down the fuel cost and its usage? What innovation and improvements has your company done in these technologies?
Our focus is using waste to generate electricity and we would like to do that efficiently. Due to congregation of waste, this is a difficult task and we thus create smaller capacities, we also have to make the asset sweat according to commercial best practices. Supercritical is large megawatt plant size and suitable for utilities and government companies.

Besides the conventional methods, do you have any plans to venture into the renewable sector, especially given the government´s thrust in that area?
We are in our niche in the green energy sector since we are consuming industrial wastes to generate electricity. This policy was finalised by the government of Jharkhand way back when there were only discussions of waste to energy all over India.

What would you estimate the power sector´s growth will be like 5 years down the line?
Power sector has already done with the quantum jump in MW in satisfying the current demand, but growth in renewable and efficient power units will be in the focus for the next 5 years.

- Jocelyn Fernandes

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