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Saturday, 24 February 2018

The Hindu Editorial :Grid Stability Is Key

The Hindu Editorial :Grid Stability Is Key

Title: Grid Stability Is Key

(The ambitious plan to help farmers earn from solar power generation hinges on small details)
  • Electricity is a major concern in rural India, especially for farmers.
  • The Government of India has come up with an original plan to address this problem. 
  •  Instead of transmitting electricity to the farmers, the government, to start with, wants farmers to use solar energy to power their irrigation pumps.
According to the January 2018 report of the Council on Energy, Environment and Water, there are about 142,000 solar pumps in India. The government is planning to install one million solar pumps by 2021.

Solar capacity

• To achieve this, the Union Budget 2018 has allocated close to ₹48,000 crore to set up the Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan (KUSUM). This programme will help set up more than 28 GW of combined solar capacity through these solar pumps. 

• Additionally, to ensure optimal use of this solar energy, and to incentivise farmers to shift to renewable energy, the government plans to purchase the surplus power through electricity distribution companies.

Advantage of this scheme

• Transmission losses and power theft would drop significantly. 

• Most rural retailers of power also lose money as they sell power at a subsidised rate to the poor and the farm sector. 

• Output from solar panels can also change due to clouds. Variations in weather patterns make it more difficult for the grid operator to predict the balance of electrical energy that will be required to meet the demand. 

Final words

ü  The plan of the Government of India to purchase solar power from farmers has nevertheless taken off on a good note. In the Union Budget 2018, the Finance Minister asked governments to put in place adequate procedures to purchase the excess solar power from farmers. This sale of excess power has also discouraged overutilisation of groundwater.

ü  However, the only problem that the government seems to be focussed on is to adequately remunerate the farmers and increase their incomes.

Title: Canary in coal mine

ü  (Opening up the coal sector to private players is a timely reform)

Forty-five years after India nationalised its coal-mining industry, the Central government has allowed the re-entry of commercial mining firms into the sector, turning the clock back.

ü   India’s coal industry was predominantly driven by the private sector after Independence until the Indira Gandhi government decided to transfer all coal holdings to Coal India through the Coal Mines (Nationalisation) Act, 1973. The key reason cited for taking coal out of the private sector’s hands was that it was essential to meet power needs. 

ü  Now, India’s coal market is a virtual monopoly for the public sector behemoth Coal India accounts for over 80% of the country’s coal supply.

ü  India has a high dependence on coal for power generation. Despite an aggressive push for renewable and nuclear sources, 70% of electricity generation is through coal-fired thermal plants.

ü  In September 2014, the Supreme Court cancelled the allocation of 204 coal mines to public and private players, after the Comptroller and Auditor General of India found fault with the allocation mechanism.

ü  An ordinance was brought in quickly and a transparent auction process was evolved for the affected mines, benefiting from lessons learnt from the telecom spectrum allocation mess.

ü  Enabling provisions for commercial mining and sale of coal were already included in the Coal Mines Act of 2015;

ü  The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has now allowed their operationalisation by clearing the methodology to be followed for auctioning rights.

ü  The government says the move will boost energy security, making coal affordable and creating jobs.


Ambitious (adj) = Have a strong desire (महत्त्वाकांक्षी) 

Irrigation (noun) = The supply of water to land (सिंचाई) 

Optimal (adj) = Best or most favourable (सर्वोत्तम) 

Incentivise (verb) = To motivate or encourage to do something (प्रोत्साहित करना) 

Outweigh (verb) = Be heavier or more significant (अतिभार होना) 

Entail (verb) = Necessitate, make necessary (आवश्यक बनाना) 

Blackout (noun) = A temporary loss of consciousness (संज्ञाशून्यता) 

Precise (adj) = Exact, accurate (ठीक) 

Ascertain (verb) = Make sure of (सुनिश्चित करना) 

Keen (adj) = Eager, willing (इच्छुक) 

Behemoth (noun) = Something enormous 

Remunerate (verb) = pay, reimburse (प्रतिपूर्ति करना)

Formed = 30 May 1987

19 December 1961 Indian Army’s Operation Vijay caused annexation of Goa into Indian 

union as Union Territory

Official Language = Konkani

Rivers = Zuari , Mandovi

National Park = Bhagwan Mahavir (Mollem) NP

Bird Sanctuaries = Salim Ali BS

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