While the electricity scenario in the State faces no grave crisis for the next five years, Kerala may plunge into darkness if no political decision is taken at the earliest to solve the electricity crisis projected after 2020, M. Sivasankar, the Chairman and Managing Director of the Kerala State Electricity Board Limited, has said. "Only through the commissioning of a super thermal power station can that crisis be overcome," he said. The irony is that those in the State who vehemently oppose nuclear power stations on environmental grounds are now clamouring for power supply to the State from the Kudankulam nuclear power station in Tamil Nadu.
Addressing the 14th State conference of the Kerala Electricity Officers Federation, he said that the gap between electricity demand and supply stands at 1,300 MW in the State. The installed capacity of hydropower in the State is 2,600 MW. The naphtha-powered stations have a generation capacity of 1,000 MW.
The rise in capacity is about 20 MW a year in the State. By 2022, the electricity requirement in the State will touch 6,200 MW. If no change is brought forth, the State will have a shortage of 2,600 MW then. The electricity needs of the State cannot be fully met through solar power because of the cost factor, he said.
In this situation, serious thought must be given to the location of the super thermal power station, Mr. Sivasankar said. The new generation thermal power stations are less polluting. There is an agreement till 2018-219 through which Kerala will be able to buy the required power at the rate of Rs.4.09 per unit. Unless reliable alternatives are established, there could be difficulties then.