Uttarakhand was introduced to the Map of India on 9th November 2000 after the bifurcation of Uttar Pradesh. It faced expectations related to the development and infrastructure needs of the state. Dehradun was declared the capital of Uttarakhand and stood as prime focus to meet the increasing economic and political activities.
All these also resulted in an increase in power demand and supply. Uttarakhand has a total area of 53,483 km2 of which 86% is mountainous and 65% is covered by forest and northern part of the state is covered by high Himalayan peaks and glaciers. Agriculture is one of the most significant sectors of the economy along with tourism and hydropower as key industries.
Power sector background
Uttar Pradesh State Electricity Board (UPSEB) was founded on 1st April 1959. However on 14th January 2000, the functions of UPSEB were transferred to the follwing three Corporations registered under Indian Companies Act, 1956 :
- Uttar Pradesh Jal Vidyut Nigam Limited (UPJVNL) :it own and operate the existing and under construction hydro power stations of UPSEB.
2. Uttar Pradesh Rajya Vidyut Utpadan Nigam Limited (UPRVUNL) : it owns and operates the existing Thermal Power Stations of UPSEB.
3. Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Limited (UPPCL) : it operates for Transmission and Distribution of electricity in Uttar Pradesh.
Uttarakhand was introduced with UPCL & PTCUL as the functional bi-furcated Utilities responsible for the Electricity Distribution & Power Transmission within the State. The Company consists of 3,487 Human Capital Workforce , committed to provide 24X7 High Reliability and Quality Power Supply to 1.89 million electricity consumers spread across the 13 Districts in the State of Uttarakhand viz. Dehradun, Uttarkashi, Pauri, Tehri, Chamoli, Rudraprayag, Haridwar, Nainital, U.S.Nagar, Almora, Bageshwar, Pithoragarh & Champawat respectively. UPCL aims to reduce the AT&C Losses of the Company for FY 2015-16 to around 17% and set target to further reduction to 14% by March 2020. The company operates and maintains following substations:
- 295 Substations of 33/11 KV with capacity – 3122 MVA.
b. 66/33/11 KV -48 MVA.
c. 4526 Km -33 KV, 38204 Km -11 KV lines and 59401 Km LT Lines spread across the State periphery.
d. 60298 Distribution Substations of 11/0.4 KV- 3602 MVA capacity with a Sub-Transmission & Distribution System Network of 211 Km – 66 KV.
The On-going schemes for the Distribution System Improvement works entails an investment of Rs.715 Crores during the FY 2015-16. The company introduced following two new schemes for 24X7 working:
- POWER FOR ALL (PFA) of the Ministry of Power for the State, the Deen Dayal Upadhyay Gram Jyoti Yojana – DDUGJY estimated to the tune of Rs. 3332.37 Crores additionally replacing the completed RGGVY aimed for providing better supply to the rural consumers and ensuring last – mile connectivity and access of electricity to rural households
2. The Integrated Power Development Scheme – IPDS, which is a way forward to the on-going R-APDRP with an additional investment of about Rs. 233.54 crores for implementation during the 12th Five Year Plan (FYP 2012-17) and upcoming 13th Five Year Plan (FYP 2017-22) aimed to provide 24X7 Reliable, Secure & Safe electricity and access to all the rural, semi-urban & urban households and ultimately reducing the AT&C Losses of the Company to below 14% by 31st March 2020 under the Schemes .
Uttarakhand is estimated to have a hydropower potential to the tune of 20,236 MW against which around 3594.85 MW has been harnessed so far through hydroelectric projects. The State is gifted by nature with rivers like Ganga, Yamuna, Kosi. So provides an ideal location for hydropower development. Some of them are listed in Table 1.
In Uttarakhand, operation and execution of various schemes based on non-conventional energy resources is handled by Uttarakhand Renewable Energy Development Agency (UREDA) through local Panchayat, volunteer organizations and district administration.
In order to promote solar power generation in the state, the Uttarakhand Renewable Energy Development Agency (UREDA) has decided to set up over 2,000 units, which will produce 44 MW of electricity using solar energy. As per the new rule, Uttarakhand will have to purchase 8% power generated through solar plants. Earlier, the state was required to purchase just 3% power generated by such plants. It has 23 solar power generation plants and these are sufficient to fulfil the mandatory power purchase of 3%. New solar power generation options have been worked out for all states and under this campaign young entrepreneurs will be involved to enhance the total power generation capacity. In order to match the criteria laid out by the Union Ministry, the state will have to work towards setting up new power infrastructure. For this, over 2000 plants of varying capacity will be set up at different places. All infrastructure will be funded under central government schemes.
Factors causing set back
Uttarakhand has certainly showed signs of growth for the last few years but the growth has not been uniform. The growth process in Uttarakhand has been limited to the plain districts excluding the hilly areas, which is due to location of manufacturing units in the plain districts. However, 40% of the population of the state still lives below poverty line ,despite a very low rate of unemployment. It is due to the low wage and income rate in the state, which leads to the problem of the poor working. So, there is need for the productive employment demands of the rural population in the state, which can be achieved through an efficient and reliable access to energy. The development approaches are dependent on the old energy sources that worked for the plains, which are not much effective in the hills due to the associated difficult terrain. Many thermal power plants also contribute towards power demand in Uttarakhand. But renewable energy sector is the main focus due to various factors now a days.
Power sector of Uttarakhand is rising at a very good pace and will definitely contribute towards a large part on overall energy demand of our country, which requires such contribution to be the top developed country.
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