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India's energy shortage projected at 2.1% in 2015-16

Peak deficit likely to fall to 2.6% this year

Sanjay Jog  |  Mumbai 

India is likely to face an energy shortage of 2.1 per cent, or 24,077 million units (MUs) and a peak shortage of 2.6 per cent, of 4,208 Mw in 2015-16. In the last financial year, the energy shortage was 3.6 per cent (28,138 MUs) and peak shortage was 4.7 per cent (7,006 Mw). The peaking shortages are likely to prevail, mainly in the South and the Northeast, to the tune of 19.8 per cent and four per cent, respectively. On the other hand, surplus energy is anticipated in the order of two per cent and 3.3 per cent in the East and the West, respectively. These are the findings of the load generation balance report for the current financial year, recently released by the Central Electricity Authority (CEA). PowerGrid Corporation’s former chairman and managing director R P Singh told Business Standard: “'These are all suppressed demand as 33 per cent of the population is still without power. Transmission corridors at national and state level are still a major issue. Misery has aggravated after the grid collapse of 2012 because of a too-cautious approach in grid operations.” He said solar power generation will reduce pressure on grids but transmission and distribution system systems need an exclusive attention. ALSO READ: BHEL starts NTPC's 800-MW Koldam hydro power plant According to the report, the gross energy generation target of 1137.5 BU and a generation capacity addition of 20,037 MW have been considered for 2015-16. The laying of 22,101 circuit km of transmission lines and 65,554 MVA transformation capacity addition during 2014-15 are expected to facilitate the deficit states to reduce their shortages during current financial year. Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission’s former member Jayant Deo said, “The report is silent on why installed generating capacity of over 272,000 MW cannot meet the peak load of 157,000 giving a shortfall of three per cent.

If the economy picks up, the actual shortfall will further increase. Why only 57 per cent capacity is available for meeting the peak? The figure of 57 per cent is very low and points to distress of owners and bankers of new capacity where over Rs 3-lakh crore of bank loans are almost non-performing assets. The other concern is increasing consumption by agriculture and domestic consumers together more than 42 per cent. The share of industrial and commercial consumption is decreasing and now stands just 51 per cent.” ALSO READ: Delhi govt urges regulator to roll back power tariff hike

West and East regions will be energy surplus but other three regions would face energy shortage varying from 0.4 per cent in the northern region to 11.3 per cent in the Northeast and the South each. The peaking shortages of 0.4 per cent, 19.8 per cent and four per cent are likely to prevail in the North, the South and the Northeast, respectively. However, the West and the East are expected to have peak surpluses in the range of 3.7 per cent and 4.6 per cent and energy surplus of 3.3 per cent and two per cent, respectively.

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First Published: Thu, June 18 2015. 00:40 IST
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