The Planning Commission (now renamed NITI Aayog) of India presented the Integrated Energy Policy (IEP) in August 2006. The policy, which includes comprehensive sections on energy efficiency, renewable and non-conventional sources, and household energy security, is basically aimed at providing pointers for meeting the energy demands of all sectors with clean and safe energy at the minimum cost.
Here are Some of its Salient Features:
1. It mentions fiscal policies and independent regulation to tackle externalities and anti-competitive market habits, respectively.
2. It states that tax and regulations regarding every energy sector should be in harmony with the overall energy policy so that equal opportunities are provided to public as well as private entities.
3. It encourages neutral taxation across energy sources except cases where special measures have to be taken to counter environmental externalities.
4. It statesthat there has to be a transparent and targeted distribution of subsidies, while considering alternative means of obtaining social objectives that were meant to be achieved by energy subsidies.
5. It encourages enforcing standards to promote energy efficiency.
6. It talks about giving autonomy and accountability to PSUs in the energy sectors so that they can ensure incentives and investments towards energy efficiency.
7. It urges to explore all possible energy options within and beyond the country.
8. It proposes to promote technologies that help in energy efficiency, conservation, demand side management, and security.
9. It asks to strengthen competitive markets wherever required to promote economic efficiency and investment in energy.
10. It encourages energy pricing to be done in such a way that conservation is prioritized by producers and users and they are able to switch to better options.
11. It asks to reduce losses, whether technical or commercial, in transmission and distribution mechanisms.
12. It states that tariff-based bidding should be used while building generation and transmission projects.
13. It states that incentives given to promotion of renewable energy should be based on outcomes and not just capacity installed. It encourages utilities that integrate various renewable sources of energy — wind, solar, hydro, etc.
14. It makes a case for the promotion of bio-gas plants, fuel-wood plantations, power plants based on wood gasifiers, bio-diesel, and ethanol.
15. It proposes to set up a National Energy Fund for financing R&D in the energy sector.
16. It lists out several points for improving energy security — lowering energy requirement, replacing imported fuels with alternatives, building stockpile of nuclear fuel to sustain power in face of problems in international supply, and shifting industries that require high-energy to energy-rich countries.
17. It talks about providing every rural household with electricity and cooking fuel within 10 years.
18. It aims to transform the existing subsidy distribution for fuels, kerosene, LPG to households into debit-card based distribution in phases.
19. It proposes to finance a bio-gas plant big enough to provide for a community for a socio-economic experiment so that if successful, the model can be replicated to provide clean cooking gas to a large chunk of the rural population.
The initiatives suggested in the policy would also counter climate change by reducing the green house gas production of the economy by as much as one-third.
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