Power Sur­vey May Have Over­es­ti­mated Need

De­mand in 2017-22 may be 15% lower than fore­cast ear­lier

The Economic Times - - Companies & Economy: Pursuit Of Profit - Sarita.Singh@ times­group.com

New Delhi: In­dia could have over­es­ti­mated elec­tric­ity de­mand for five years start­ing April next year and, af­ter in­ter­ac­tions with states, has re­alised that the re­quire­ment may be lower by over15%.

A se­nior power min­istry of­fi­cial said with sur­plus in­stalled gen­er­a­tion ca­pac­ity and low de­mand, the do­mes­tic power plants are ex­pected to op­er­ate at low ca­pac­ity of 55-60% in that pe­riod, which is the in­ter­na­tional av­er­age.

The 18th Elec­tric Power Sur­vey (EPS), an ex­er­cise of elec­tric­ity de­mand fore­cast for 12th Plan and be­yond, pre­dicted a de­mand of 298 GW in 2017-22. How­ever, re­cent ex­er­cise by the power min­istry for the next such sur­vey and also un­der its flag­ship 24x7 pro­gramme showed that the de­mand could be 248 GW or even lower at 239 GW with the use of en­ergy-ef­fi­cient ap­pli­ances, the of­fi­cial said.

The sur­vey, which forms the ba­sis of gen­er­a­tion and trans­mis­sion plan­ning for the power sec­tor, is col­lected by the Cen­tral Elec­tric­ity Au­thor­ity (CEA), a tech­ni­cal plan­ning body un­der the power min­istry that ag­gre­gates in­for­ma­tion pro­vided by states to re­gional power cen­tres years in ad­vance. The power min­istry dis­cov­ered the variations in de­mand pro­jec­tions dur­ing prepa­ra­tion of state-spe­cific ac­tion plans for pro­vid­ing 24x7 power for all by 2019.

The min­istry is, how­ever, not rul­ing out the pos­si­bil­ity that states could have missed out on re­quire­ments of con­sumers in re­mote ar­eas that are still not con­nected to the elec­tric­ity grid. The de­mand was es­ti­mated at 298 GW on the back of high growth in states at the time of prepa­ra­tion of the sur­veys, a CEA of­fi­cial said. The de­mand was grow­ing at a rea­son­able rate till the last three years. Eco­nomic slow­down and cycli­cal cor­rec­tion has led to a de­cline in de­mand, he said.

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