Simon Li  - VP SMF

SMF vice president Simon Li.

India’s power market is fundamentally attractive for investment given the country’s growing demand for electricity, Singapore Manufacturing Federation vice president Simon Li said.

“Indians use far less electricity per capita than their counterparts in more developed countries – less than 800 kWh per year compared with the global average of 2,700 and almost 15,000 in the US,” noted Li in a keynote speech at the roundtable visiting business delegation from the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).

The delegation was led by Piyush Goyal, Minister of State for Power, Coal and New & Renewable Energy, on May 23, 2016.

Li noted the business prospects in the power sector, especially based on projected increase in electricity generation capacity from about 300 GW now to 700 GW by 2032.

“This will require some US$500 billion of investment in power generation and another US$300 billion in upgrading the transmission grids,” he told some 250 delegates from Singapore business sectors as well as FICCI.

“We believe that coal generation represents the greatest opportunity for international utilities in India, and expect that 55% of the growth in installed capacity will come from coal-powered thermal generation by 2032,” he elaborated.

Among renewable power sources, solar offers the greatest potential for international players. In fact, the industry is on track to meet its target of 22 GW by 2022, observed Li.

Li also applauded the Indian government’s decisions on loan restructuring, fast-tracking stuck projects due to land and fuel issues, domestic gas price increases and releasing coal blocks for the private sector all signal their intent to move quickly to revive the sector.

“The key for utility executives will be to identify the most promising opportunities in a rapidly changing environment and ensure thoughtful on-the-ground execution,” he said.


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