India's electricity problems can be solved within a short time by reviving the 1 lakh MW thermal power capacity plants that are lying idle, Chairman of the Advisory Group for Integrated Development of Power, Coal and Renewable Energy Suresh Prabhu said.
Within 18 months the country can solve energy problems by putting in place thermal capacity of about 1 lakh MW, which is lying incomplete, blending it along with about 2,50,000 mw capacity available as of today, said Prabhu who was power minister in the previous NDA-led government.
"If we use this opportunity now we can address the energy problem in a very significant way," he while inaugurating a seminar on 'Financing & Regulatory issues in Renewable Energy' organised by industry body Assocham.
Terming financing as an extremely challenging issue being faced by the renewable energy sector, Prabhu said: "We need $ 7.5 billion of equity and $ 22.5 billion of debt and to make that happen we need to put in some sort of an instrument in place.
"Equity is going to be extremely challenging unlike debt financing."
He said the government should transfer the clean energy cess worth Rs 100 per tonne being collected from Coal India to the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency ( IREDA) as they could leverage this by nine times as part of capital adequacy norms for non-banking financial companies ( NBFCs).
"We need to access lot of international finance and this is something which is possible through climate finance because there are a large number of entities both private and public who have interest to promote renewable energy because of various reasons," Prabhu added.