The Central Electricity Authority (CEA) has released the draft National Electricity Plan (NEP) for the five-year period starting 2017 and ending 2022. The plan forecasts incremental energy savings through improved power quality, grid stability and minimizing transmission losses. The CEA has projected that during the five-year period, 2017-2022, the country will save 249 billion units of electricity. “The draft NEP is open for comments now,” stated an official at CEA.
The CEA has estimated that the peak demand and energy requirement in the five-year period, 2017-2022, to be 235,317 MW and 1,611 billion units, and for the five-year period, 2022-2027, to be 317,674 MW and 2,132 billion units. The government agency also expects the share of non-fossil fuel based installed capacity (nuclear+ hydro+ renewable sources) will increase to 46.8 percent of total generation capacity by the end of FY2021-22 and will further increase to 56.5 percent by the end of FY2026-27.
The NEP takes into account, short- and long-term demand forecast for different regions and suggests areas for generation and transmission capacity additions. Their recommendations are based on the economics of generation and transmission, losses in the system, load center requirements, grid stability, security of supply, quality of power including voltage profile.
By expanding the scope of on-going programs, launching new programs and missions, introducing cost-effective energy efficient products, services and knowledge, and enforcing mandatory energy saving programs, the CEA projects a reduction in energy demand beyond the five-year period, 2017-2022, of 337 billion units for the next five-year period, 2022-2027.
The CEA expects solar capacity in India to reach 18,673 MW by March of 2017, with total renewable energy capacity rising to 59,674 MW. The government agency has projected that a minimum of 41,237 MW of solar will be installed in the five-year period, 2017-2022.
The CEA is giving top-priority to solar, hydro, wind, gas and nuclear based capacity due to their inherent advantages as India sets to meets its Paris Agreement goal of generating 40 percent of its electricity from renewable energy sources. The Government of India has planned to add 1,75,000 MW of renewable energy by the end of FY2021-22.