Celebrating the Past, Focusing on the Future

We are turning 25!

Join us as we scroll through our archives and revisit the past.

To mark our 25th Anniversary, we are bringing out a special commemorative issue around the theme “Celebrating the Past, Focusing on the Future”. It will have many special features, mixing memories with analyses and hopes with projections. It will showcase the successes, examine the failures and highlight the changes over the past 25 years. It will also attempt to identify the biggest challenges, the best strategies and the most promising technologies for the next 25 years. All this, through the voices of the sector, representing all stakeholders, making it a very special issue.

In the run-up to that issue, we will bring you a mix of “old” stories, interviews and features in our special “Power Line Rewind” section. It will retrace the journey of the power sector, its moods and memorable moments. It will also feature some of the covers we are particularly proud of.

We hope you enjoy browsing this special section. Watch this space for more…

 

November 2010

At a time when the Ministry of Power has decided to redesign the renewable energy certificate (REC) mechanism to reflect the ongoing transition in the sector, we revisit a story from November 2010 when the REC mechanism was introduced by the government. Over the last decade, RECs have emerged as a vital tool to meet the RPO targets and going forward too, they are likely to play a key role in accelerating the country’s shift to renewables. 

 


India’s worst power failure served as a wake-up call

August 2012

In one of the worst blackouts globally, July 2012, India’s northern, eastern and north-eastern grids collapsed in plunging 21 states and over 600 million people into darkness. The grid collapse acted as a wake-up call to establish a strong and resilient power transmission network in the country. This article from our archives talks about the key causes of grid collapse and possible solutions as well as industry reactions of the incident…

 


Government looks to connect the last mile

October 2017

The Saubhagya scheme is lauded as the biggest electrification drive of its kind, delivering the fastest expansion of electricity access. The scheme was launched in 2017 with the objective of achieving universal household electrification through last-mile connectivity. It achieved its objective in 2019, setting the stage for the crucial task of ensuring 24×7 quality supply for all. This article from our archives discussed the key features of the scheme and the expected outcome, at the time of its launch in 2017 . . .

 

August 2011

At a time when the country is facing an acute coal shortage, we revisit a story from August 2011, when nearly 40 GW of capacity had been impacted by the coal crisis at the time. Interestingly, the reasons for the shortfall have remained more or less the same – inadequate domestic production and a steep rise in international coal prices. The sector, once again, finds itself in a coal conundrum. 

 

July 2011

The 4,000 MW Mundra ultra mega power project in Gujarat set new milestones in the sector. It was the first UMPP to be awarded by the government and the first project to install 800 MW supercritical units. It was also completed in a record time of one year from the date of commissioning of the first unit in March 2012. This article from our archives talked about the innovative practices followed by Tata Power in this landmark project…

 


Setting the stage for power trading

August 2005

The setting up of power exchanges in 2008 was a major milestone in the sector, a key step towards creating the vibrant power market that we have today. The exchanges have boosted trading volumes significantly, introduced a transparent price discovery mechanism, and enabled buying-selling of power on a near real-time basis. This story from our archives goes back to the time when the country’s first energy exchange, IEX, was conceptualised…

 


Interview with Piyush Goyal

April 2015

Having inherited a crisis-ridden sector, Piyush Goyal set off at a brisk pace as minister of state (independent charge) for power, coal and new and renewable energy to tackle the most-pressing issues. His key moves were: swift auctioning of the cancelled coal blocks and the launch of two mega distribution reform schemes. Excerpts from his candid interview with Power Line in April 2015….

 


Achievers in their own right

November 2003

The idea behind doing this story was to shine a light on the incredible women who were making inroads into the power sector, one of the last male bastions, during the 2000s. They were working across the power spectrum, as engineers, analysts, financiers, auditors, IAS officers, lawyers and chartered accountants. A tribute to the women who were making a meaningful contribution to a sector dominated by men.

 

1997-2021

Power Line has been faithfully reporting all the news, views and action in the sector over the past 25 years. It has been our constant endeavour to cover issues that reflect the current state of the sector and present the complete picture, without favour, hype or sensationalism. We present some of our most memorable covers from the past…

 

 

 

 

August 2001

Once extolled as a shining example of sector reforms, Odisha’s experiment with privatisation ran aground, with dues mounting, US power utility AES threatening to pull out and talk brewing of a rollback of reforms. What went wrong? This story analysed the reasons why Odisha – the first state to attempt reforms – failed to find success at the time.

 

July 2000

Tata Electric Companies’ strategic decision to venture into the retail arena unleashed a bitter battle with its rivals for Mumbai’s high consumption customers. It threatened to upset the decades-old power equilibrium in the state and unseat the incumbents, BSES and BEST. This story talked about the power play between the rivals as they slugged it out for a greater share of electricity supply in Mumbai.

 


Excerpts from an address by Jyotiraditya M. Scindia

July 2013

In his address at the Power Line Awards 2013 ceremony, chief guest Jyotiraditya M. Scindia, then minister of state (independent charge) for power, called for imaginative solutions to the sector’s problems. Key among them were imported coal, gas availability, grid disturbances, and discom health. While some of these have been resolved, distribution continues to be the “Achilles’ heel” of the sector, as Scindia said…

 

December 1998

Undaunted by Kashmir’s civil war, armed sieges and curfews, a group of Swedish and Indian engineers built the Uri hydropower plant in record time. A glimpse of how the Uri project team worked assiduously amidst adverse circumstances – terrorist threats, harsh weather and a tough terrain – to finish NHPC’s remarkable 480 MW project on the river Jhelum.

 


Why the Haripur project would cost more than five cents here

May 1998

Back in 1998, when participation by IPPs in power generation was still at a nascent stage in India, the discovery of ultra-low tariffs for a project in neighbouring Bangladesh made headlines. Opponents of private power questioned why foreign IPPs were “overstating” their tariffs in India, without factoring in the higher import duties, fuel costs and taxes in the country. This article analyses the tariffs quoted by IPPs in India and elsewhere in the world…

 


Address by Sushilkumar Shinde 

May 2012

Congratulating the “heroes” of the sector at the Power Line Awards 2012 ceremony, chief guest Sushilkumar Shinde was upbeat about the miles the sector had covered, while noting there were many more to go. He also commended Power Line for recognising and encouraging excellence in the sector by organising the awards. Excerpts from the power minister’s address at the awards function…

 


Higher tariffs will push industry towards the captive option

August 1998

This article highlighted the fact that the SEBs stood to lose their “best-paying” industrial consumers by incessantly raising industrial tariffs while leaving the agriculture sector untouched. The tariff hikes, often in double digits, were certain to push industry towards the captive option.

 


Talk of negotiated bids sparks concern and anxiety

October 1997

In a major volte face, the ministry considered reverting to the MoU route, sparking concern, anger and frustration amongst IPPs. The story cautioned the government about the perils of such “flirtations” and policy swings, and urged it to not move away from competitive bidding to negotiated bidding.

 

 


Interview with Suresh Prabhu

January 2002

Suresh Prabhu was at the forefront of policy decisions on the energy sector. In this 2002 interview, the then power minister struck a positive note with the MoP’s “blueprint” for action. Revisit Prabhu’s interview, peppered with his characteristic repartee and one-liners.

 


Interview with Suresh Prabhu

September 2001

Suresh Prabhu took over as power minister at the turn of the millennium and set out clear goals for reforms. One of his major achievements was introducing the Electricity Bill, 2001 in Parliament. In this lively interview, he gave his rather interesting perspective on various issues impacting the sector at the time

 


Interview with P.R. Kumaramangalam

October 1999

P.R. Kumaramangalam represented the young, articulate, reformist face of Indian politics. As power minister, he worked tirelessly to implement reforms, push legislation and get private projects off the ground. His untimely death at 48 was indeed a great loss. An interview with Kumaramangalam from our archives

GET ACCESS TO OUR ARTICLES

Enter your email address

Share your work e-mail and access a free 3 month digital subscription to Power Line Magazine