POWER - MORE NEEDED AS GROWTH PANGS GROW

about 11 days ago
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Sometimes, a simple browse through some of the Govt portals can be very enlightening. A cursory look at the website of Central Electricity Authority (CEA) gave us so many insights into the state of power generation and supply in the country.

Here is what we discerned:

  • YoY, the power generation is good – it has surpassed the target but if we go by the target set v/s achieved for Jan, the outcome is poor. This indicates that April to Jan report, YoY is good thanks to other months of good show but Jan has been very poor. Surely with the Govt now directing coal to be diverted to thermal projects, this achievement numbers for later months will go up. 
  • What we also learnt is that renewable energy contribution for Jan vis-à-vis conventional electricity was at 8.5%. While the YoY Jan growth for electricity generated thro conventional sources was down 1.5%, that from renewable energy was up 15%. Wind is the number source of renewable, followed by solar and then baggase.
  • The total all India installed capacity as at 31st Jan 2019 stood at 349288.22 MW, with the largest chunk coming from Western India at 33% where maximum capacity is in Maharashtra led by the private sector, followed by South at 30% and led by Tamil Nadu. In terms of sector, private sector contributes more at 46%, state at 30% and Central at 24%. Thermal remains the single largest power generator for India.
  • In terms of power supply position, Jan’19 saw a much lesser deficit at -0.6% v/s -1.5% (YoY).
  • The National Power Portal states that as at 9th March 2019, as against the total power generation target of 1,187,155 MW from April till 9th March’19, the actual achievement was at 1,172,289 MW, a deficit of 1.25%.
  • And then there is data on all-India electrification – the entire country now gets power; all the 597464 villages in India are electrified.
  • A village is said to be electrified if  - a) Basic Infrastructure such as Distribution Transformer and Distribution lines are provided in the inhabited locality as well as Dalit Basti / hemlet where it exists. (For electrification through Non-Conventional Energy Sources a Distribution Transformer may not be necessary); b) Electricity is provided to Public places like Schools, Panchayat Office, Health Centre, Dispensaries, Community Centres etc.; c) The number of households electrified should be at least 10% of the total number of households in the village and iv) Mandatory Certification from Gram Panchayat regarding the completion of village electrification should be obtained.
  • Capacity addition target v/s achievement report card for April to Jan (YoY) is not very rosy – thermal was short by 57%, hydro down by 83% is understandable as it’s a seasonal factor. Thus all India terms, as against the set target, we are short by 60% - target of 5690 MW v/s achievement is at 2270 MW.
  • Our coal consumption from 2004-05 till 2017-18 has gone up 119% at 608 million tonnes while our annual per capita electricity consumption from 2006 till 2017-18 has risen 82% at 1149 kWh.
  • And for the power companies, the average cost of power supply from 2004-05 till 2017-18 has gone up by 104% to 520 paise/unit.  As against this, the realization, including agriculture, data for which is updated only till 2012-13 is at 376 paise/unit.

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