India’s power supply deficit stood at 0.5% at the end of March for the financial year 2019-20, and the peak power deficit stood at 0.7%, according to the data published by the Central Electricity Authority (CEA).
During the same period last year, India’s power supply deficit stood at 0.6%. As per the released data, the total power supplied during March 2020 was 98,404 million units (MUs), which was less than the required energy target by 421 MUs.
Similar to last year, the northeastern region recorded the highest power supply deficit of 3.7%, followed by 1.4% for the northern region. In 2018-19, the deficit for the northeastern region was 3.9%, and the southern region had registered a power supply deficit of 0.1%.
The northern region recorded a peak power supply deficit of 694 MW, whereas the eastern region recorded a peak power deficit of 22 MW. The northeastern region recorded a peak power deficit of 111 MW.
In the northern region, the union territory of J&K and Ladakh reported the peak power supply deficit of 681 MW, which was the highest in the northern region. In the southern region, Kerala recorded a peak power supply deficit of 186 MW, whereas, in the eastern region, West Bengal reported a peak power supply deficit of 175 MW. In the northeastern states, Assam recorded a peak power supply deficit of 237 MW.
For the financial year 2019-20, 1,283,690 MUs were supplied against the requirement of 1,290,247 MUs of energy. The amount of power supplied was 6,557 MUs lesser than the target energy requirement, as per the data provided by the CEA.
In the northern region, 389,192 MUs of energy was supplied as against the requirement of 394,758 MUs of energy, whereas, in the western region, 388,346 MUs of energy was supplied as against the requirement of 388,351 MUs of energy. In the southern region, 344,450 MUs of energy was supplied as against the 344, 550 MUs of energy required. Similarly, in the eastern region, 145,717 MUs of energy was supplied as against the requirement of 145,997 MUs of energy. In the northeastern region, 15,985 MUs of energy was supplied as against the requirement of 16,592 MUs of energy.
In December last year, in its load generation balance report (LGBR), the CEA had projected that India’s anticipated power supply position for the year 2019-20 would reflect a surplus of 5.8% (80.38 billion units) and a peak surplus of 8.4% (15.9 GW). In the previous financial year, India recorded marginal demand-supply gaps in terms of energy and peaking, according to the report. During the year, the country’s energy requirement registered a growth of 5%, and peak demand rose by 7.9 %, compared to the CEA’s projections of 10.2% and 10.1%, respectively. The CEA said the demand-supply gaps were not due to the non-availability of power, but because of transmission and distribution constraints. It noted that there were short-term surpluses in most of the states at some point in time and that this surplus power was sold to deficit states or neighboring countries through bilateral contracts, power exchanges, or traders.
Previously, Mercom had reported that India’s power supply deficit stood at 0.5% for the nine months between April 2019 and December 2019, while India’s peak power deficit stood at 0.7%.
Power cuts are a common occurrence in many parts of India. Most utilities prefer to cut off power supply rather than supplying power at a loss. It is surprising that even with the economy slowing down last year, supply was still not able to keep up. The difference between CEA projections compared to actual figures is substantial. Unless transmission infrastructure keeps up with generation, this issue will continue.
Rakesh Ranjan is a staff reporter at Mercom India. Prior to joining Mercom, he worked in many roles as a business correspondent, assistant editor, senior content writer, and sub-editor with bcfocus.com, CIOReview/Silicon India, Verbinden Communication, and Bangalore Bias. Rakesh holds a Bachelor’s degree in English from Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU). More articles from Rakesh Ranjan.