Power minister Manohar Lal Khattar assumes office, discusses capacity addition, battery storage

  • Former Haryana minister Manohar Lal Khattar has been allocated portfolios of power, and housing and urban development in PM Narendra Modi's new cabinet.

Rituraj Baruah
First Published11 Jun 2024
Union minister Manohar Lal Khattar. (File Photo: X)
Union minister Manohar Lal Khattar. (File Photo: X)

On his first day in office on Tuesday, newly appointed power minister, Manohar Lal Khattar, monitored the country's power supply situation and discussed the addition of power generation, transmission, and battery storage capacities in a meeting with officials and chiefs of public utilities.

Earlier in the day, Khattar assumed charge of the ministry in the presence of his predecessor, Raj Kumar Singh. Minister of State for Power, Shripad Yesso Naik, was also present on the occasion.

Two officials aware of the matter said that during the first meeting post-assuming charge, the minister discussed capacity addition with a focus on battery storage.

"The meeting focused on transmission capacity addition, storage capacity addition...also generation capacity addition. We talked about battery storage, basically storage capacity," said one of the two people mentioned above.

Capacity addition across segments has gained significance as the government looks at meeting the rising power demand. The Centre aims to set up an additional 80 GW of coal-fired capacity by 2032.

Expansion and upgradation of the transmission network is key with the government's ambitious plan to add 500 GW of non-fossil generation capacity by 2030 and integrate the green capacity into the grid. Further, battery storage is essential for storing renewable power, which is intermittent, and for maintaining grid stability. Last September, the Union Cabinet approved 3,760 crore in viability gap funding for battery energy storage systems.

Khattar, the Lok Sabha member from Karnal, assumes charge of the power ministry at a time when the power demand in the country is very high due to soaring temperatures. The peak demand hit a record high of 246 GW on 29 May 2024, and is expected to touch 260 GW in this summer.

Ensuring uninterrupted availability of power would be an important and immediate responsibility of the minister.

On Tuesday, Khattar also assumed charge of the housing and urban affairs ministry.

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