& Kashmir has proven reserves of coal and lignite. The production of non-coking coal in1999-2000 was 28 thousand tonne and lignite reserves in thestate were 128 million tonne. Hydel energy is the cheapest source of energy available tothe state, though thermal energy is also consumed in large proportions. The installedcapacity in thermal plants is 184 MW. Thermal plants are basically used as standbys toback the hydel plants whose generation capabilities fall during winter season due to lowriver discharge. On the other hand, coal and lignite provide a high-cost option, because of difficult mining conditions in the case of low fuel value coal and lignite of high ash content.Renewable energy, especially solar energy also has a vast potential in meeting theincreasing demand for energy in the state. Solar energy can be an important source forLadakh due to its sunny and dry climatic conditions. The power sector in Jammu & Kashmir, however, is one of the most underdevelopedsectors in the state. It has not only been unable to keep pace with the growing demand butits supply to ultimate consumers has also been poor. In addition to large unexploredpotential, inadequate transmission and distribution network, huge transmission anddistribution (T&D) losses, low power tariff, power thefts as well as long gestation period of the power projects have contributed to the dismal situation of the sector.The total agreement load in 2008-09 in the State stood at 1,969 MW withnumber of consumers of all categories standing at 12.16 lakh. Demand of power in thesame year was 2,120 MW while as local availability stood between 716 and 941 MW.Energy purchased in the same period was 9,147 MU, costing over Rs. 1,600 crore.Demand in the State during 2009-10 is estimated at 2,247 MW, against availability of 1,545 MW, which leaves a deficit of 702 MW.
The installed capacity in the state was 374.13 MW, with 190.19 MW in hydel plants and183.94 MW in thermal plants. The 9th Five-Year Plan (1997-2002) was targeted tocommission 14 ongoing hydroelectric projects with a total capacity of 144.46 MWs. Theseprojects included small/mini hydel projects with up to 3 MW capacity as well as big projectslike USHP-II (105MW). The generating capacity of the hydel plants increased to 232.7 MWin 2001 with no addition to capacity in thermal plants. During 1997-98 and 1998-99 therewas no addition to the capacity whereas 35 MW was added during 1999-2000 and 8 MWduring 2000-01 to the hydel capacity. The hydel capacity further increased to 300.15 MWby June 2002. The hydro–thermal mix for the state was 51:49 in 1997-98 and the ratioincreased to 56:44 in 2000-01.INSTALLEDCAPACIT YMWGENERATIONMKwH YEARHYDELTHERMAL TOTALHYDELTHERMAL TOTAL1997-98190.19183.94374.13892599511998-99189183.9372.9066266681999-00225.2183.9409.160206022000-01232.7183.9416.605515556