‘Inability to handle peak-time power loads hit us hard’

July 31st, 2012 - 10:08 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 31 (IANS) The inability to handle peak-time power loads combined with failing monsoon that has led to 19 percent drop in energy generation may be responsible for the unprecedented power blackout in the country, an expert said Tuesday.

Speaking about the two successive days of power grid failure that crippled 19 of the country’s 28 states Tuesday, Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) deputy director general Chandra Bhushan said that apart from overdrawing of power by some states, the lack of peak power plants is also a reason behind the energy crisis.

“We rely largely on base load power plants — thermal, nuclear and even some hydro power plants operate at base loads. So when the peak demand surges, we have no source to supply electricity to the grid,” he said.

Peak load power plants operate only during peak times, feeding power to the grid when the power demand peaks, preventing such blackouts. Base load plants, on the other hand, work continuously, supplying the minimum required power to an area.

Bhushan added that while most hydro plants are peak load plants, failing monsoon has led to a 19 percent drop in power production from them during the April-June 2012 period compared to the same period last year, affecting the peak-load power generation severely.

“Apart from grid discipline and setting up systems that ensure that states do not overdraw power, we will have to change our electricity generation configuration for the stability of the grid,” he added.

Bhushan said that shifting to renewable energy plants like wind and solar plants would play a major role in stabilising the grid, “as their power generation profile, especially that of solar power, matches the peak demand in the country”.

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