India will spend US$250 billion to double its electricity output and connect everyone to the power grid in the next five years.
The money will come from new investment in power generation and transmission, the Financial Times reported Friday, citing officials.
About US$100 billion will be in renewables and US$50 billion in transmission, with the rest in other areas, Energy Minister Piyush Goyal was quoted as saying.
However, Goyal ruled out expansion of the country’s nuclear power production.
He said, the government needs to know the life-cycle cost of nuclear plants and does not want old technology discarded by European countries.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi plans to develop Indian infrastructure and has vowed to provide 24-hour electricity to all 1.3 billion citizens by the end of his term 2019.
“We can see a situation where we will have power for all businesses, all homes, all offices right through the length and breadth of India,” Goyal said.
At present, 53 million homes are not connected to the grid and many businesses rely on costly diesel generators to produce electricity during lengthy power cuts.
In the summer of 2012, the grid in northern India collapsed, leaving hundreds of millions of Indians without electricity for up to three days in the worst outage in history.
Goyal said electricity output will be increased partly by improving the mix of power sources, including renewables such as wind and solar, and partly by doubling state-run Coal India’s mine output to one billion tons a year in the next five years.
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