Energy Department has framed contingency plan to tackle any future power shortfall by shifting focus to renewable energy: George

K.J. George, Minister of Energy, participating in #THTalksBengaluru, a live chat with The Hindu and its readers, in Bengaluru on Monday.
| Photo Credit: K. MURALI KUMAR

With the demand for power progressively increasing, the Energy Department has framed a contingency plan to tackle any future shortfall by shifting the focus to renewable energy, said K.J. George, Minister of Energy, while answering questions from The Hindu’s readers during THTalksBengaluru.

While the current share of renewable energy in the State in power generation is around 40%, the government has plans to increase it to 80%. 

“Currently, we generate about 42 million units (MU) through solar energy, about 17 MU from wind, 41 MU from hydro, and 49 MU from thermal stations. As solar, wind, and hydel are dependent on weather factors, we have other plans to enhance the generation capacity,” Mr. George said. 

He added that the department plans to increase solar capacity in the State as it is more dependable. The Pavagada solar park, which currently has a capacity of 2,200 MW under phase one, will soon be extended over 10,000 more acres to enhance the capacity by another 2,000-2,500 MW.

The proposal to solarise sub-stations which can improve power supply, even in rural areas, will soon be taken to the Cabinet.

“While immediately generating 1,500 – 2,000 MW power, the solarisation will also help in reducing transmission losses.” 

The government would also like to work on making use of pumped storage power plants, the Minister mentioned. “We want to pump during the daytime with cheap solar energy during monsoons and store it in our reservoirs. Within five minutes, we can start generating hydroelectricity. While many private parties have come forward for this, KPTCL is also keen on the Sharavathi pumped storage project,” he said.

The department also wants to explore green hydrogen options and are waiting for private investment as there is a ₹50,000 crore project in the pipeline. 

“All of this will take time, but if we start now, the future will be safe. Hopefully, in the coming months, we will have a good strategy to face these (high demand) situations,” Mr. George remarked.

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