Peak power demand to rise 9% in Apr, says electricity authority head

Informist, Tuesday, Nov 29, 2022


KOLKATA – The peak demand for power is expected to go up by 9% on year and touch 230 GW in April next year, and the country needs to have provisions in place to meet that additional requirement, Ghanshyam Prasad, chairperson of the Central Electricity Authority said.


"If we are not careful next year, similar level of crisis may come that we have seen this year," he said at an event on energy organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry.


India faced one of the worst power crises in the recent past due to a combination of factors. While generation from hydel sources fell during the onset of summer, the shortage could not be addressed with power produced using coal alone.


Global coal prices had touched record levels at the time as China increased purchases and state-owned Coal India Ltd was not able to increase production immediately.


Owing to high global prices, imported coal-based power plants stopped production as costs escalated, which added to the shortage at that time.


As a result, many states, including Maharashtra, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, faced a severe power crisis in the current financial year.  


As per data from the Central Electricity Authority, peak demand in August, the latest month for which data is available, stood at 196 GW this year.


Prasad said while the country currently has 210 GW of coal-based capacity, studies by the electricity authority have shown that by 2030, coal-based generation can go up to 248 GW in the best case scenario, if renewable sector performs adequately; and 256 GW in case of a shortfall in hydel and renewable power sources.


Prasad said with the country focusing on increasing generation from renewable sources, there has been a shift in peak power demand trends.


Earlier, demand for power would peak in the evening. Now, peak demand can be seen during the day as consumption of solar power has increased on account of inadequate storage for the same.


"Even then, there are certain days when peak demand will be in the evening," he said.


Prasad said that power from fossil fuel sources like coal needs to be kept ready to meet any shortfall.


New pithead coal-based plants of 27 GW are expected to come up during 2026-27, and another 30 GW is expected to come up by 2030.


Prasad said as the government aims to increase non-fossil fuel generation capacity by another 500 GW by 2030, there is a need to focus on increasing transmission capacity by 237 GW as well.  End


Reported by Avishek Rakshit
Edited by Aditya Sakorkar


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