Peak power supply deficit halves over 5 years

Twesh Mishra New Delhi | Updated on February 17, 2019 Published on February 17, 2019

India’s electricity supply deficit has more than halved to 2 per cent despite annual peak demand rising nearly 21 per cent from 2013-14 to 2017-18.

The peak demand is an assessment of the maximum power requirement during any time of the year.

According to data compiled by the Central Electricity Authority (CEA), India’s peak power demand stood at 1.36 lakh megawatt (MW) during 2013-2014. This rose by over 20 per cent to 1.64 lakh MW in 2017-18.

Correspondingly, the country’s peak met, an assessment of the maximum electricity supplied during anytime of the year, rose over 23 per cent from 1.30 lakh MW in 2013-14 to 1.61 lakh MW in 2017-18.

The net peak deficit, the difference between maximum power supply and demand, of the country during 2013-14 stood at 6,103 MW or 4.5 per cent lower than the maximum demand.

The highest deficit of power was reported from Punjab at 1,356 MW. This means that the maximum power supplied was 13.4 per cent lower than the 10,089-MW peak demand of the State during the year. In 2017-18, Punjab reported nil surplus or deficit.

In 2017-18, the peak deficit of the country fell to 3,314 MW, reflecting 2 per cent lower power supplies than the maximum demand. The highest power deficit has been reported from Uttar Pradesh at 2,213 MW or 10.9 per cent lower than the 20,274-MW peak demand reported by the State during the year under review.

For the current financial year, the CEA has assessed a power surplus of 2.5 per or 4,441 MW. This is based on the assumption that India’s peak power demand will rise to 1.81 lakh MW and 1.85 lakh MW of power supply will be available.

But, the CEA has not been able to successfully anticipate power supply position. For 2014-15, peak deficit was assessed at 2 per cent but in actuality, there was an shortage was of 4.7 per cent. For 2016-17, the CEA expected a surplus of 2.6 per cent, but instead, there was a deficit of 1.6 per cent. The same was the case in 2017-18 when the CEA projected a surplus of 6.7 per cent but in reality there was a deficit of 2 per cent.

According to industry watchers, the CEA’s assumptions rely on capacity addition and adequate fuel supply projections. These capacity additions, especially in the hydropower sector have not been keeping pace with estimates. There has also been a shift in the month when power demand is the highest in the country.

During 2013-14, peak demand for the year stood at 1.36 lakh MW in February 2014. But the peak demand in 2014-15 was reported during June 2014 at 1.48 lakh MW. In 2015-16, the highest power demand was reported during September 2015 at 1.53 lakh MW. This was repeated in the next fiscal and in September 2016, the country reported the highest demand for year at 1.60 lakh MW. But in 2017-18, the highest power demand was reported a month early, in August 2017 at 1.64 lakh MW.

Published on February 17, 2019
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