Ajit Kumar is an industry veteran, with a long, 35-year stint with NTPC Limited, the company where he started his career and worked in several key positions before moving to power trading major, PTC India Limited.
He is currently director, commercial and operations, PTC India Limited, and managing director of PTC Energy Limited (PEL), a subsidiary of PTC for the renewable energy business. Under his leadership, PEL commissioned two wind power projects with a cumulative capacity of 50 MW in Madhya Pradesh during 2015-16 and plans to be a 2,000 MW renewable power company by 2021.
According to Kumar, the recent growth in capacity addition is being increasingly led by the renewable energy segment, although there are still substantial challenges, including low demand from discoms leading to reduced PLFs and stranded generation capacity. “We have 30,550 MW of projects with coal linkage but no power purchase agreements (PPAs),” he notes. He sees government initiatives like UDAY and the New Tariff Policy, and the emphasis on efficiency improvement through the use of technology like smart meters as significant positives for the sector. He adds that given that long-term power procurement has been largely unsuccessful, medium-term PPAs could be a solution. The latter, with a time horizon of three to five years, along with short-term procurement (for up to one year and very near-term demand) may provide a win-win solution for both discoms and generators. “We need favourable policies for associated infrastructure and financing to support medium-term PPAs,” he says.
For Kumar, being part of the in-house project engineering group in NTPC for the Farakka Super Thermal Power Project was a particularly memorable assignment. He also remembers his time in NTPC’s business development department, wherein he was instrumental in finalising agreements with the Bangladesh Power Development Board and the Ceylon Electricity Board for establishing thermal power projects in their countries.
An electrical engineer from the Delhi College of Engineering, Kumar also has an MBA in finance from IGNOU. He likes to spend his spare time with his family, and go out for dinners and movies with them. To keep fit, he meditates and goes for a morning walk. His favourite pastime is reading books on homeopathy. In fact, the “first level of treatment of his family members is preferably done at home through homeopathic medicines”.