When the World Bank said that India and Nigeria are two topmost power-deficit countries, Prime Minister Narendra Modi pledged to bring power to all before 28th April 2018. Now that India has completed electrification of all villages, it seems like a massive accomplishment for us. Now it is time to achieve electricity access. Now what’s left is the vision of energy access to the household at affordable prices. However, to see that dream turn into reality, we’re hoping to see multiple policies and fiscal interventions in budget 2019.
Fiscal Support for Renewable Energy
In recent years, India has shown that solar and wind energy is the affordable form of power in terms of distribution and utility-wise. Renewable energy technologies can be implemented in both urban and rural segments. Therefore, stronger fiscal support will be needed.
Promote New Technologies
Several renewable energy sources such as off-shore wind, battering storage, and charging infrastructure of EVs are still not properly taking off. It is the high technology cost that holding it from mass scale adoption. It is important for the government to bring policy and schemes to promote mass scale adoption.
Provide Capital Access to Struggling Entrepreneurs
In the last decade, many entrepreneurs come forward to start their own venture however some struggled to raise equity to expand their business model. The Indian Venture Capital System has very little exposure to power or renewable energy startups. Due to which the mass scale adoption of rooftops and other distributed energy asset development has not taken off. Therefore, the government must provide access to the capital through dedicated funds that can be used by these entrepreneurs to scale up their business.
Apart from this the budgetary allocations is also important for gas-based power plants since these plants are much cleaner from the emission perspective than the coal-based power plants and the National electricity funds to supports the state facing resource crisis. In short, the dream of ‘Affordable Power’ can only turn into reality after taking require multiple interventions even at the policy level. Therefore, the Union Budget 2019 will matters a lot in terms of new policy and fiscal interventions to meet the goal of universal access of electricity.