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Diesel generator sets' capacities witnessing an upward trend in India

Increase was attributed to erratic power supply, issues faced at the transmission and distribution level

Amritha Pillay  |  Mumbai 

diesel generators, India
(Photo courtesy: Cummins Commentary)

Even as the looks to focus on providing to all, besides ensuring generation of surplus power, the number of diesel power generator sets in the country may be on a rise.

None of the government agencies publicly share any data related to the number of operating (gensets) in However, data sourced through sources shows that diesel power generator sets capacities have risen at a rate of around 5,000 megawatts (MW) per annum in the last two years in the country.

According to data sourced through its internal research, private power producer said capacity of diesel gensets is estimated to stand at 90,000 MW as on 2016-end, from 80,000 MW in 2014.

Increase in capacity is rather surprising as the past three years have seen the government focusing on increasing in the country, besides witnessing a surplus condition in some scenarios. To be sure, the power exchanges in the country or the spot market for power have been trading at cheaper rates, as compared to their performace a few years back. On Friday, Power Minister took to social media platform Twitter and said that around 4,396 megawatts of power was available at rate of Rs. 2.59 per unit for states. 

experts attribute the rise in diesel gensets to the largely erratic and uneven in the country, besides issues faced at the transmission and distribution level.

"are operated only for a short period of time during the day and are used as a back-up power supply," said Ashok Sethi, chief operating officer and executive director for

"The rise is not surprising as generator sets are a solution for erratic power. Unless, the country moves towards reliable and solves the transmission and distribution related issues, this trend will continue," said an official who did not wish to be identified. Power demand deficit peaked at 0.8% or 1,197 MW in April due to erratic in the country.

Another consultant added that the increasing number of new factories and buildings in the country may have also contributed to the rising number of diesel-run generators sets as they require a running supply of power for operations.

The estimated figure gains significance when it is juxtaposed with the country's total generating capacity of 3,30,260.53 MW, as per data compiled by (CEA). The total generating capacity, however, does not include the capacity of power generated by diesel-run generator sets.

First Published: Fri, June 09 2017. 20:28 IST