Indians spend 30k cr annually over outages

Written by Press Trust of India | New Delhi | Updated: Aug 27 2009, 05:03am hrs
Indians spend a whopping 30,000 crore every year on fuel and maintenance cost on power back-up equipments to secure themselves against frequent outages.

According to a pan-Indian study commissioned by Wartsila India, the real cost of power, the expenses on power generation using inverters, generators and other back-up equipments are almost 80% more than what consumers pay on grid supply. The operational expenses on generating back-up power in the country are estimated to be around Rs 30,000 crore every year, the study says.

Dwelling on the cost difference, it says a consumer on an average spends 80% above the grid cost when faced with 6-7 hours of load-shedding every day and the cost increases three-fold if all the appliances like fridge and TV are run on back-up. On the correlation between the growth of the gross domestic product and power generation capacity, the study suggests that the growth rate for both should be same.

Releasing the study, Wartsila India managing director Rakesh Sarin said a 'reliability surcharge' of as little as 50 paisa per unit can support rapid (power generation) capacity build-up in the country. "This surcharge would be far less than the extra charges consumers incur on back-up equipments," Sarin added.

"While initiatives such as the setting up of Ultra Mega Power Projects will, hopefully, help in adding base load capacities in the country, it is high time we looked at other complementary technologies and solutions to impart much-needed flexibility into the system to improve peak load management," he said. The study was carried out over a five week period in May-June 2009 and covered 1,500 respondents across 21 cities in the country.