India has power shortage of 73,050 million units

July 30th, 2008 - 11:58 am ICT by IANS  

By Rajeev Ranjan Roy
New Delhi, July 30 (IANS) India, Asia’s third largest economy, faced a power deficit of 73,050 million units between April 2007 and March 2008, an internal official audit says. Even as hope of power sufficiency emanates from the India-US nuclear deal, the audit says 6,53,172 million units of power were supplied last fiscal against a demand of 7,26,222 million units.

The 73,050-million unit deficit was largely in Bihar, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura, and Uttar Pradesh.

These states accounted for 80 to 90 percent of the total power demanded.

The audit by the ministry statistics and programme implementation (S&PI) Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala met at least 90 percent of their power needs.

Some of the states and union territories that supplied 100 percent or marginally less electricity were Puducherry, Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Goa, Chandigarh, Dadar and Nagar Haveli, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand, and West Bengal.

“There was a shortage of 64,368 million units in April 2007-February 2008, which rose to 73,050 million units by March-end,” a ministry official, who did not wish to be identified, told IANS.

Given the fact that only around 56 percent of India’s rural population or 78 million households do not have access to electricity, the mismatch between demand and supply will widen in time to come if the supply side is not improved, the official said.

“It has to be done on the priority basis as the government intends to provide access to electricity to all the households by 2009.”

The government has estimated that India will require an installed capacity of over 200,000 megawatt (MW) by 2012 to meet the electricity demand, which will be 60 percent more of what the country has at present.

“By 2020, India will require 400,000 MW of electricity. Energy is going to be required in a large quantity in view of rapid economic growth. The government also aims to increase per capita consumption of electricity to 1,000 units by 2012,” said the official.

At present, about 26 percent of installed power generation capacity in India is hydropower against 50 percent in the 1960s, while around 66 percent is thermal generation including gas.

The official said nuclear energy constituted only about three percent of the country’s total power generation, and non-conventional energy sources, of which wind energy is predominant, accounted for about five percent.

“The share of hydropower in electricity generation will go up with the government launching a 50,000 MW hydro initiative. It aims at making optimum utilisation of available hydro potential of the country,” the official said.

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