Andhra Pradesh to face critical position in the energy sector as Finance Minister suggests closing old thermal plants

Andhra Pradesh to face critical position in the energy sector as Finance Minister suggests closing old thermal plants
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Highlights

The union government has suggested to shut down the old thermal power plants as they became pollutants and go for renewable energy generation.

Amaravati: The union government has suggested to shut down the old thermal power plants as they became pollutants and go for renewable energy generation. It would have a negative impact on the State, which is fully dependent on thermal power plants for its maximum consumption.

Already, the Central Pollution Control Board has served notices to Dr. Narla Tata Rao Thermal Power Station (Vijayawada Thermal Power Station), Vijayawada to shut down two units out of its six plants by 2021.

During her Budget speech on Saturday in Lok Sabha, Nirmala Sitharaman stated that, "There are yet, thermal power plants that are old and their carbon emission levels are high. For such power plants, we propose that utilities running them would be advised to close them, if their emission is above the pre-set norms. The land so vacated can be put to alternative use."

There are certain plants in the State which were established way back 1979, 1980, 1989, 1990, 1994 and before 2000. Though majority of the thermal power plants in the state have been upgraded to latest technology in emission reductions, still the dependency on low quality coal led to high pollution levels at the plants. On the other hand, they could not afford the high quality imported coal, as purchase and transportation became nonviable task.

While suggesting to close the thermal projects, the Finance Minister encouraged the renewable sector by allocating special budget. She said that, "I propose to provide about Rs 22,000 crore to power and renewable energy sector in 2020-21".

Further, she said that, "Taking electricity to every household has been a major achievement. However, the distribution sector, particularly the DISCOMS are under financial stress. The Ministry intends to promote "smart" metering. I urge all the States and Union Territories to replace conventional energy meters by prepaid smart meters in the next 3 years. Also, this would give consumers the freedom to choose the supplier and rate as per their requirements. Further measure to reform DISCOMs would be taken".

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