India to see 6.7% power supply shortage this fiscal
New Delhi: Amid multiple sectoral woes, India is projected to see an electricity supply shortfall of 6.7 percent in the current fiscal with the Southern region expected to be the worst hit.
The latest projections from the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) -- the planning body for the Indian power sector -- comes at a time when acute coal shortages, environmental hurdles and transmission woes are hurting electricity generation.
"... The country is expected to experience energy shortage of 6.7 percent and peak shortage of 2.3 percent despite very high shortages likely to be experienced by Southern Region.
"This is due to transmission constraints between Northern-North Eastern-Eastern-Western - Southern Regional Grid, which restricts flow of power to the Southern region," CEA said in its latest report.
In the current fiscal, the capacity addition would be 18,432 MW with majority contribution coming from thermal sources, it said.
Out of the estimated additional capacity, thermal plants would account for 15,234 MW, hydro sources 1,198 MW and the remaining 2,000 MW from nuclear energy.
Overall, energy shortfall is expected to be 70,232 million units, resulting in a deficit of 6.7 percent this fiscal.
The requirement would be 10,48,533 million units whereas the availability is pegged at 9,78,301 million units.
"Considering transmission constraints, anticipated all India peak shortage works out to 6.2 percent," CEA said.
The projections have been made after taking into consideration power availability from operating stations, fuel and water availability at hydro electric plants.
"The gross energy generation in the country has been assessed as 975 billion units from the power plants in operation and those expected to be commissioned during the year in consultation with generating companies/ State Electricity Boards and take into consideration proposed maintenance schedule of units during the year," it said.
The country's power sector map is divided into five regions -- Northern, Western, Southern, Eastern and North Eastern.
Among them, South is projected to see the maximum electricity shortages of 19.1 percent this financial year. It would be followed by Northern-Eastern (11.3 percent), Northern (5.8 percent) and Western (1.2 percent).
Meanwhile, the Eastern region is anticipated to see an energy surplus of 10.2 percent.
CEA noted that peaking shortages in the Northern, Southern and North-Eastern Regions would be 1.3 percent, 26.1 percent and 10 percent, respectively.
Generally, peaking shortage refers to the shortfall in electricity supply when the demand is maximum.
In 2012-13, the energy shortfall touched 8.7 percent while peak shortage reached 9 percent.