JICA supports India’s efforts to achieve the targets set under the National Electricity Plan

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JICA supports India’s efforts to achieve the targets set under the National Electricity Plan

In compliance with Section 3 of the Electricity Act 2003, the Government of India notified the National Electricity Plan (NEP). Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) understands that electricity is a critical infrastructure on which India’s socio-economic development of the country depends and as always is ready to support the nation’s efforts in this direction. To support India take ahead and achieve the targets set under the electricity plan, Yashiro Kazushige, JICA Energy Expert was appointed at Central Electricity Authority (CEA) in November 2021.

Mr. Yashiro’s  appointment was agreed under the Joint Statement of 10th Japan-India Energy Dialogue (December 2019), part of JICA technical cooperation. Through this technical cooperation, he will be supporting CEA to propose, implement and enhance the policy/projects from NEP and to strengthen the execution capacity in the CEA and other organization, and also to identify and propose the new project intended for JICA’s assistance for the future.

The National Energy Conservation Day is celebrated every year on December 14 since 1991 to drive mass awareness about the importance of energy efficiency and conservation. It assumes greater significance in view of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pledge of India achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2070, made at the COP26 Climate Conference held in Glasgow. While the services sector has made significant contribution to the growth of the economy, availability of quality supply of electricity is very crucial to sustained growth of this segment.

Speaking on his arrival, Saito Mitsunori, Chief Representative, JICA India said, “JICA is keen to be more active in India’s energy sector. JICA has been supporting country’s energy projects since a long time. The appointment of the energy expert is going to be a stepping-stone in India’s energy journey. From being responsible to review and analysing the entire power & energy sector including sector optimization, he will also update the status of power resource diversification, operation of GENCOs, and donor’s activities. He will check the reports published by the CEA and also survey the issue of power quality. We hope this technical cooperation will result in better energy optimisation and conservation in a sustainable manner.”

On being appointed for supporting the CEA, Yashiro Kazushige, JICA Energy Expert, said, “Indian Power sector is witnessing major changes. According to the database of Would Bank, the access of electricity has improved from 89.53% of population as of 2016 to 97.8% as of 2019. However, the demand for power has been outstripping the growth of availability. Substantial peak and energy shortages prevail in the country. Through this technical cooperation, I hope we are able to monitor ongoing works, short term & long-term plan of stakeholders of power and energy sector to meet the demand in India. In addition, through this, we will critically analyse those in comparison with government policy and plans i.e., National Electricity Plan, and propose/advise feasible and concrete measures to CEA to introduce new technologies that contribute to decarbonisation society.”

India plans to add 500 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy to its electricity grid by 2030 in a bid to clean up air in its cities and lessen the rapidly growing economy’s dependence on coal.  JICA has supported the installation of 11.8 GW energy capacity, with 7.0 GW in the renewable sector. The agency’s support on projects for modernization of transmission and distribution lines has also promoted energy efficiency in the country. JICA has supported transmission and distribution projects across Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Meghalaya, Odisha and Uttarakhand.

In addition, JICA provided Japanese ODA loans of 60 billion Yen (approximately INR. 4,000 Crore) to the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) in  2011 and 2014 under which over 39 sub-projects across the wind, solar and small hydro energy sectors have been supported. Further, in the context of energy efficiency, JICA provided Japanese ODA loans of 90 billion Yen (approximately INR. 6,000 Crore) to Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) in  2008, 2011 and 2014 which supported more than 5,000 sub-projects to improve the energy efficiency of MSMEs in India.

This support from JICA has the potential to reap rich dividends on a large scale, enabling a sizeable chunk of India’s industrial base to switch to sustainable sources of energy. According to Small & Medium Business Development Chamber of India, MSMEs currently contribute 45% of India’s industrial output and 40% of total exports. SMEs form 95% of the total industrial units in the country.

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