It's going to be a summer of discontent in most parts of the country this year as the power situation is grim. Some states are unlikely to meet even half the total demand in the peak season, raising concerns of another grid collapse. The situation is critical in places where state electricity boards are bleeding and have not secured the power they need to supply. Since they are unable to recover the cost of electricity, they are reluctant to make adequate purchases as this will only increase their losses.
The government is concerned that the demand-supply mismatch in states may endanger the national grid, which had collapsed dramatically last year, leaving half the country in darkness for long.
The power ministry has directed power-deficit states to submit their load-shedding schedules to prevent grid failure. The government will closely monitor grid discipline, officials said.
Several parts of south India are already facing a large power deficit, and the absence of adequate transmission facilities makes it difficult to bridge the gap, leaving industries in the lurch. The situation in the north is also a matter of concern, officials said.
In Uttar Pradesh, utilities are likely to black out residents to balance demand and the limited supply so that they do not trigger another grid collapse, officials said. The state's projected demand is 15,850 mw with a shortfall of almost 7,000 mw. The state government is finalising 1,000 mw of power purchase tenders while planning to procure cheaper power from Himachal Pradesh, officials said.
Punjab, which suffered a shortage of almost 3,500 mw in 2012-13, will be able to reduce the deficit to 3,000 mw. It is expecting to draw short-term power from Rajasthan, Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat. It has projected 13,200 mw of demand this summer as against 12,200 mw last year.
The hilly states are also in deficit. Himachal Pradesh, which faced a shortage of 434 mw and met demand of 1,672 mw in 2013-14, will continue to face challenges while Jammu & Kashmir, where distribution losses are among the highest in the country, may be able to meet only half of the state's peak power demand this summer. However, residents in Delhi and Haryana can expect a better power supply situation this summer when electricity demand peaks between May and July.
Delhi's electricity demand is expected to reach 5,850 mw compared with 5,650 mw last year. Distribution arms of Reliance Infrastructure and Tata PowerBSE 0.48 % have assured the power ministry of meeting higher demands in Delhi, where per capita power consumption is double the national average at 1,651 units of electricity per annum.
Source- Economic Times