Power

By Nidhi

Contents
• • • • • Introduction Pattern of utilization Sources Some issues Suggested solutions

Introduction
• India- 6th largest consumer of electricity in the world • Consumes 3.4% of global energy • Essential ingredient of economic development • Commercial uses- in industry, agriculture & transport • Non-commercial uses- in domestic lighting, cooking, domestic mechanical gadgets, etc.

• India power sector comprises various governmental bodies looking after– Power systems in India – Power generation industry & technologies – Power supplies – Power industry report (analysis of power sector, power requirements & shortage, etc.)

• Power sector comes under the Ministry of Power India (earlier- Ministry of Energy)

• Power Finance Corporation Limited (PFC) of India
– looks after the financing of the power sector – Provides finance to major power projects – Looks installation of any new power projects & renovation of existing power project

Pattern of Electric Consumption (%)
Uses Industry Agriculture Railway traction Public lighting Domestic use Total (approx) 1950-51 1970-71 63 4 7 13 13 100 68 10 3 10 9 100 2002-03 34 24 2 12 21 100
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• Declining share of industry- many large industrial units have set up their own captive power plants

Marked increase in use of electricity in agriculture • Programs of rural electrification • Demand for power for lift irrigation • Energization of pump sets

Sources of electric power
Thermal Power Bio-gas Production Hydro Power

Sources

Nuclear Power Solar Power

Wind Power

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Power generation(*) by utilities (billion kWh)
Source Thermal Hydro Nuclear Total 2007-08 558.82 123.57 16.78 704.45 2008-09 590.10 113.08 14.71 723.80 Growth (%) 5.6 -8.4 -12.3 2.7

Source: Economic Survey 2008-09

Thermal Power
• • • • Generated by coal, oil and gas Major source of electric power- coal Use non-renewable & exhaustible resources NTPC- power ministry organization responsible for the thermal power management • Increase in the cost of generation of power through oil (increase in international price of oil implying increase in domestic price oil) • Fuel Policy Committee – substitute of coal based technology in place of oil

Hydro-electric Power
• • • • Renewable natural resource Most economical source of power No problem of pollution of atmosphere Projects do not take longer gestation period as argued by some • Even then, govt. is relying more on thermal power • Only 1/5th of hydro-power has been harnessed in the country • NHPC- manages hydro-electric power plants & hydro power generation companies

Wind Energy
• Available in plenty • India witnesses high intensity winds in various regions due to topographical diversity in India • Wind energy power plant does not require much infrastructure input & the raw material • Wind-available free of cost • Huge wind energy farms have been set up by the govt. for tapping wind energy by gigantic windmills, then converting kinetic energy of wind into electricity by the use of power converters

Solar Power
• To generate electricity on smaller scale • By setting up massive solar panels & capturing the solar power • Being utilized by the power companies for domestic & small industrial uses

Nuclear Power
• Generated at huge nuclear power plants & nuclear power stations (using nuclear energy) • NPCL- manages all nuclear power plants in India • Comparatively less supply of the total installed capacity • The on-going debate on nuclear power (Nuclear deal with U.S.) will decide its fate in India

Bio-Gas Production
• Still in its infancy stage • Number of bio-gas plants is very low • India has plenty of bio-gas fuel (being the largest domestic cattle producer) • Could solve power shortage in India to an extent

Issues
• State Electricity Boards • Private sector reforms • Rural Electrification

State Electricity Boards
• • • Generate & distribute power, set power tariffs and collect revenues from the users Operates as a state monopoly Low capacity utilization of thermal power plants due to
1. Deficiencies in the operations & maintenance of plants 2. Deficiencies in generating equipment 3. Poor quality of coal received by the power plants

Shortage of power in the country

High transmission & distribution losses (2022%) due to1. 2. 3. 4. Sparsely distributed loads over a large area Under investment in transmission system Inadequate billing & substantial pilferage of power Uncovered subsidies (agriculture & domestic sector)

Inability to arrive at & implement an economic power tariff due to1. Powerful agricultural lobby (unable to raise power tariff) 2. Highly subsidized power in agricultural & domestic sector create heavy losses on sale of power

SEB’s are suffering from serious maladies such as • Extensive power thefts • Lax billing & collection of money due • Poor quality in construction & equipment selection • Mismatch in generation & transmission capacities • Poor project management leading to enormous delays and cost overruns

Private sector reforms
• Introduced the New Power Policy in 1992 (invited private investment, both Indian & foreign, into power generation business through IPP’s) • Intention- to marginally support the public sector & not to supplant it • Relative failure– Incompetence of top bureaucracy – Interference of NGO’s – Oppositions from trade unions

Rural electrification
• To stimulate the growth of small-scale industries and to promote a more balanced & diversified economy • Emphasis shifted from village electrification to energisation of pump sets to stabilize agriculture • Rural Electrification Corporation accelerated the speed of electrification in organized manner • But the weaker sections in rural areas get precious little from it • Though 82.4% of villages are electrified less than 60% of households consume electricity

Suggestions
• • • • • • Transmission & Distribution loss reduction Reduction of gestation period of power projects Accelerating pace of hydro power development Optimum use of regional energy surpluses Reforms in SEBs Renovation & modernization of power plants

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