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Transmission: The Weak Link

Power generation capacity has risen from 1,23,901 mw in December 2006 to 1,70,469 mw, as at the end of December 2010. The government claims that a conducive regulatory environment has enabled the sharp increase in share of private sector to 20% compared to 11.6% in December 2006.

Growth in capacity in absolute terms stands at 30%, which means that the compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) is 8.3% during the said period.

While capacity rose by 8.3%, electricity generation recorded a CAGR of only 5.5% and availability increased by 6.4%. Compared to these, demand is rising at 6.8%.

Methodology: Generation is the amount of electricity produced and the availability is power received by the end consumers. Power demand  is an estimate of power requirement given the current consumption pattern.

It must be noted that growth for generation and availability has been calculated on annual figures for the financial years ended March. Figures for the month of March 2011 are calculated based on the last four year’s CAGR.

Since demand is growing at a faster pace than availability, power deficit is rising. Hence, while the capacity may grow by leaps and bounds, until generation and availability do not rise at a faster pace, we will not be able to plug the gap.

Raw material constraints continue to mar the generation growth. Inadequate and poor power transmission and distribution network is the cause of slower growth in availability. Hence, in order to improve this situation, it is imperative to improve the T&D system which is plagued by losses.

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Categories: Power
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