Power deficit falls to new low
Dr M.S.Kapadia ower sector constitutes a shining example of what a stable and focused government can do in improving economy feat. Thus, because of healthy growth in capacity addition and more importantly in generation, the power sector has ceased to be a major block to facilitating economic activity, going by recent trends in power deficit. The average deficit which peaked at 10-11 per cent in 2008-09 and 2009-10, eased to 8.5-8.7 per cent in the next three years. The deficit fell to 4.2 per cent in FY14 more due to a stagnant economy. The FY15 saw the shortage fall to 3.6 per cent, which was made possible by a stronger growth in generation (ex-bus), and was notwithstanding a bounce-back in requirement. The current fiscal till December has seen the deficit fall to a new low of 2.2 per cent, from 3.9 per cent in the first nine months of 2014-15 and 4.4 per cent in this period two years back. In fact, power generation has been outpacing demand growth since the end of FY13.
By the way, even as the decline in power deficit in the medium term reflects robust growth in capacity and generation, relative to demand from consuming sectors, the drop in the deficit during April-December could point to a slower growth in power consuming sectors, given a marked retard in the growth of generation during the period. Reportedly, power utilities find power off take inadequate to absorb their generation potential with the result that several generating stations have to operate at sub-optimal levels. Thus, the aggregate PLF at thermal stations has gone down to 62 per cent in December from 65 per cent a year ago, and around 72 percent from May 2012.
Ex-bus availability is broadly gross generation less auxiliary consumption in the generating station.
Intra-period, deficit was around 2.2 per cent average during Q1, 2.5 per cent during Q2 and 1.8 per cent over Q3 comprising October-December, which was made possible by a slowdown in the economy over the quarter.
The peak power demand met/supply deficit was assessed at 3.2 per cent during April-December, 4.7 per cent a year ago, and 4.1-4.2 per cent in the similar period in earlier two fiscals.
Northern region experienced 4.9 per cent deficit during April-December 2015, improving from 6.6 per cent in the similar period a year ago. This was due to 12.8 per cent deficit in Uttar Pradesh and 15.4 per cent in Jammu & Kashmir; the other states in the region could broadly meet their power requirement.
EX-BUS POWER AVAILABILITY & REQUIREMENT
TOP SEVEN STATES IN TERMS OF POWER REQUIREMENTS DURING APRIL-DECEMBER 2015