Home > Power > T&D Losses in India: Aggravating the Power Problem

T&D Losses in India: Aggravating the Power Problem

While India has the world’s fifth largest power generation capacity, its average per capita power consumption is estimated to be 704kwh, a trifle compared to the world average of 2,300kwh. While power generation is the beginning, transmission and distribution (T&D) plays a pivotal role in ensuring availability to end users. Power deficit (requirement minus availability) stood at over 10% in FY10. This is huge, considering India is a growing economy.

While capacity addition and availability of fuel are some of the constraints, T&D losses — power lost during transmission of electricity — is also substantially higher than the global benchmarks, at approximately 30%.

All India Average Technical & Commercial Losses* in %
2002-03 32.54
2003-04 34.78
2004-05 34.33
2005-06 33.02
2006-07 30.59
2007-08 29.24
2008-09 28.44
Source: CEA  
*Note: Figures given by PFC

The central and the state utilities own nearly 40% and 60% respectively of the total transmission lines. The Power Grid Corporation of India (PGCIL), the central transmission utility, is India’s largest transmission company. Similarly, in the power distribution segment, the state electricity boards own nearly 95% of the distribution network.

Former PGCIL CMD and current Jindal Power executive vice chairman, R P Singh, says, ― The states have lagged in transmission upgrades, particularly in sub-transmission and distribution networks and local area load management systems. The result of incomplete state-level power reforms is that the transmission and distribution losses that were supposed to be reduced from 35% in 2004-05 to 15% in 2012 are still at the 28.44% mark.”

Smart grids:

PGCIL has installed sensors on its network that provide readings every 15 minutes on key transmission parameters. The company uses this to monitor its systems and to take corrective measures. These new technological initiatives are expected to counter some of the problems.

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Categories: Power
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