West Bengal is no longer a power surplus state with deficit projected to be 7,257 million units in 2016-17.
The Central Electricity Authority’s (CEA’s) Load Generation Balance Report (LGBR) prepared with the inputs of Regional Power Committees (RPCs) says that West Bengal’s projected off peak demand for 2016-17 has been pegged at 52,867 million units, while availability is 45,610 MUs.
Peak requirement for the same period has been estimated at 8,439 MUs against a peak availability of 8,138 MUs. This puts the state to a 13.7% and 3.6% off peak and peak deficits respectively, bringing the state out of the much touted power surplus status.
Although West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee claimed to have started exporting power to power starved states considering Bengal’s power surplus status, the CEA figures points out to the need of importing power both during the peak and off peak periods.
A host of states including Delhi, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Daman & Diu, Dadra Nagar Haveli, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, Puducherry, Orissa, Sikkim, Mizoram and Tripura are now power surplus putting the country’s average power situation to an off peak surplus of 1.1% and peak surplus of 2.6%, according to the CEA .
However, Smart Grid Forum president Reji Kumar Pillai pointing out to the fact of long power cuts that rural India has to face even during the off peak hours says that calling India as a power surplus country has no basis unless there is 24×7 power for all.
In an energy conclave organized by CII eastern region, he said rural Maharashtra faced 16-18 hours of load shedding a day, whereas power supply condition in rural Bengal is far better with nearly no load shedding.
In the latest CEA report Maharashtra is now a power surplus state with 7.4% off peak surplus and 0.7% peak surplus.
CEA chairman SD Dubey said the actual shortage in a state would depend on the extent to which the state is able to get additional power from surplus states. A total of 28,114 circuit kilometers of transmission lines and 62,849 MVA transformation capacities were added in 2015-16 to enhance intra state and inter- state power transfer.
This would gradually bring an even distribution of the country’s total energy generation. “Shortage is not real. There is a demand –supply mismatch which has to be addressed,” Dubey told fe.
A small state like Sikkim is 125.3% power surplus with an availability of 954 MUs against a requirement of 423 MUs during off peak hours. Peak requirement is 90 MUs, while peak availability is 164 MUs making the state 82.1% peak power surplus. This extra power needs to be transferred, otherwise it’s a waste.
Dubey said CEA under the 13th national electricity plan would conduct a demand survey of the entire country taking all 78 distribution companies into account instead of earlier state wise survey.
The CEA under the 14thperspective plan would revise standards of construction, operation and maintenance of power plants shifting large thermal projects from using super critical technology to ultra critical technology, Dubey said adding that the power ministry was also focused on increasing the share of hydro in the generation ratio of thermal and hydro which was ideally 60:40.
Pump Storage Power projects would beneficial towards it. The government has planned 10,000 mw of pump storage generation entailing investments of up to Rs 8000 crore.
“A higher hydel mix in the country’s total generation will bring the much required grid stability, important for proper power distribution across the country,” Dubey said.