Uttar Pradesh, which has the highest concentration of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) estimated at over 3 million, is facing major power cuts affecting industrial production. The state is facing an energy deficit of over 924 million units (MU), or nearly 11.2 per cent. UP has availability of 7,358 MU against the power requirement of over 8,282 MU.
According to industry chamber Assocham, the state power utilities have been forced to resort to load shedding of 10-12 hours a day to meet the massive shortfall. Assocham secretary general D S Rawat said UP and Andhra Pradesh were facing the worst power crisis and the situation would deteriorate in the absence of corrective measures.
“Therefore, the industrial pockets in these states would have to curtail their industrial production to the extent of 45 percent,” he noted.
Power theft, leakages and transmission and commercial losses were the main reasons for the power deficit. Use of non-conventional sources of energy, especially for domestic usage and street lightning, has been recommended as the short-term solution.
Continued power disruptions in northern, southern and western regions had forced industrial units to curtail industrial production (IP) by about 30 percent in April and May 2014.
The loss of industrial production was likely to exceed 35-40 percent in June and July, as per feedback received by ASSOCHAM from its constituents in these regions.
The power deficit suffered by industrial units in April-May estimated between 20-25 percent would breach 35 percent in June-July due to forthcoming rainy season as defects in the energy transmission system would be exposed.
As a result of power deficit, industrial production in UP, AP, J&K, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra would have to be curtailed to the extent of 30-35 percent particularly in manufacturing.
Meanwhile, AP faces power deficit of over 12 percent with energy availability at only 7,976 MU against the requirement of 9,070 MU.
Maharashtra has the potential to generate 5,000 Mw of electricity through wind energy and another 1500 Mw by way of bagasse cogeneration. With such non-conventional energy resources, the region could become power surplus state in few years.
Demand side management and transfer of surplus power from captive units to grids were few suggestions cited to fight power shortages in short run.
Rawat lamented lack of fresh investment and modernisation coupled with huge transmission losses were responsible for grave power situation in India.