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RK Singh: India’s electricity demand jumps 45,000 MW in one year; ensure 23-23.5 hour supply: Energy Minister RK Singh

By on June 12, 2022 0
India’s electricity demand this year has jumped from a record 40,000 to 45,000 MW per day as an intense heat wave sweeps across the north of the country, the economy expands and the Electricity reaches millions of unelectrified homes, Energy Minister RK Singh said.

A massive addition to generation capacity, the integration of the country into a single transmission network and the strengthening of the distribution system during the eight years of the Modi government ensure the 23 to 23.5 hours of electricity supply, a- he said in an interview with PTI.

India’s electricity demand on June 9 was recorded at a record high of 2,10,792 megawatts and 4,712 million units of electricity were consumed.

Power plants are running at full capacity to meet this demand, and the government has ordered the import of coal to meet the domestic supply shortfall.

“The whole energy industry has changed (over the last 8 years),” Singh said. “Before (2014), we had an electricity deficit, load shedding was endemic”.

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According to a survey conducted by an NGO, the average availability of electricity in rural areas was about 12.5 hours nationally. “Today is 10.5 p.m.,” he said.

An electricity deficit country with an average shortage of 17 to 20%, India has transformed itself into an electricity surplus country.

Detailing the steps, he said that in 8 years, 1,69,000 MW of capacity was added to bring power generation capacity to over 4,00,000 MW (or 400 gigawatts). On the other hand, the peak demand is only 215 GW.

Power plants operate at operating rates well below their capacity. In the case of renewable energy units, such as solar, this is only one-fifth of rated capacity.

In addition, the whole country was connected to a single network with a single frequency after laying 1.66 kilometers of transmission lines. This was complemented by the strengthening of the distribution system with the replacement of old lines, the addition of high and low voltage lines, transformers, substations and feeder lines.

“Today India is the largest single frequency power grid in the world,” he said.

“Before, we could transfer about 37,000 MW (of electricity) from corner to corner. Now we can transfer 1,12,000 MW.”

Net results: the availability of electricity has increased. “Our system shows that in rural areas availability is now 23 hours on average and in urban areas it is around 23.5 hours roughly,” the minister added.

Singh said thousands of villages and hamlets that had not seen electricity for 70 years had been connected. As many as 28.6 million unelectrified households – more than the combined population of Germany and France – received electricity.

However, the domestic production of coal – the feedstock for most of the electricity generated in the country – has kept pace with the increase in demand.

The minister said power plants have been asked to use 10% imported coal for their power generation needs.

Of the 204.9 GW of installed coal-fired power generation capacity in India, about 17.6 GW, or 8.6%, is designed specifically to run on imported coal. Other power plants import the fuel to mix it with domestic coal.

has already launched tenders for the import of coal, he said.

The current coal shortage is the result of domestic production not keeping pace with demand. “National coal production has increased, but not to this extent. So the net result was that on April 1 our reserve stock in power plants was 24 million tons and on April 30 it fell to 19 million tons and more to 15 million tons on May 15,” he said, adding that states were also asked to import coal.

Singh said the government is working to move domestic coal to power stations, as well as imported coal to prepare for the monsoon season when production from local mines will decline.

In addition to fossil fuel-based electricity generation capacity, the addition of renewable capacity has exploded.

“India has committed that by 2030, 40% of our capacity will be based on non-fossil fuels. We have achieved this target 9 years ahead of schedule in November 2021,” he said. declared. “Today, the established renewable capacity is 1.58,000 MW and an additional 54,000 MW is under construction.”

Added to this 6,000 MW of nuclear capacity, the total renewable capacity amounts to 1,65,000 MW, or 41% of established capacity, he said.