INTERVIEW: What Chairman of Feedback Infra Vinayak Chatterjee has to say on power theft

Published: August 9, 2017 4:08 AM

Finally after decades: Powered by “Vidyut Chori Roko Abhiyan” & allied measures, UP’s electricity bill collections rises by 28.5% in Q1.

Uttar Pradesh, electricityUP’s daytime demand is 12,000MW and peak is 19,000MW (demand gap is 7,000MW). (Reuters)

Finally after decades: Powered by “Vidyut Chori Roko Abhiyan” & allied measures, UP’s electricity bill collections rises by 28.5% in Q1.

UP curbs power theft

UP govt’s steps to curb power theft saw collection in Apr-June rise to `7,822 crore. UP had announced an amnesty scheme for consumers to subscribe to legal connections, waived off interest on power dues & introduced EMI for payment of dues.

Retrograde: Another unnecessary challenge to Renewables: MP Elec Regulator suggests amendment withdrawing “Must Run” status

MP trips up renewable generation
Withdrawal of ‘must run’ status means the state can unplug renewable projects from grid at whim. ‘Must run’ status was granted to give certainty to renewables, though backing down thermal capacity involves cumbersome rebooting.

Half a PPA better than no PPA: Govt mulling waving carrot of “no fixed charges” before Discoms to motivate purchases from stressed plants

Relief for stressed power generation plants
The proposal will require state-owned discoms to offtake a minimum capacity of power from the plants. Plants with a total generation of capacity of 14,000MW don’t have purchase agreements that are essential to getting from Coal India.

Wind Power Trends: (1) With competitive bidding, set to achieve grid parity with coal (2) Non-wind States keen to buy from Windy States

Wind challenging coal-based power Wind power now priced just 2% above coal, as per a Morgan Stanley report. With tariffs dropping because of competitive bidding, state utilities are likely to prefer wind or solar power over coal-based power with short- and medium-term PPAs.

Professional Approach: UP asks IIT Kanpur to devise strategy for a long term state power procurement policy with 10 year perspective

IIT to power UP electricity solutions

UP’s daytime demand is 12,000MW and peak is 19,000MW (demand gap is 7,000MW). UPPCL is backing down projects during the day, but it has to pay fixed charges. The IIT study is expected to suggest how UPPCL can flatten demand curve.

Idling capital: Thermal power plants notched up only 48.9% PLF in June. Renewables + stepped up hydro + onset of monsoon + muted Discom demand

Coal power faces reduced demand

Generation in Q1-FY18 is up by 5.3%; that from renewables rose 26%. About 33,000MW of coal-based power plants don’t have long-term PPAs, affecting their ability to service debts.

Cement: Degrowth in May (-0.4%) & June (-5.8%) puzzling. Reasons—Demonetisation trailing effect, destocking before GST, genl constr t ???

Cement output trails

Cement output has contracted over the last several months. However, demand may recover this fiscal, on the back of a focus on the housing sector and infra segments like roads, etc.

Appropriate: NHAI has 2/3 of staff either on contract or on deputation. Parliament Comm on Pub Undertakings recommends a permanent cadre

NHAI needs permanent cadre

Such hiring practices ensure NHAI remains lean and agile. But increased reliance on contractual labour means NHAI, by and large, doesn’t have an institutional memory.

Regional air connectivity to Local air connectivity: Helicopter service from Bengaluru Airport to Electronics City. 15 minutes vs 2 hours

Chopper taxi to beat Bengaluru jams

Kerala-based Thumby Aviation is likely to start chopper taxi service in three months. Service will help fly over Bengaluru’s jammed roads, a problem flagged by industry captains.

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