Status of Power Generation in India

India’s to make sure sustainable growth, not only economically but also from social and environmental factors dependency on thermal sector for power has been slowly decreasing considering conscious and smart & on the other hand our country’s potential for hydro-power generation is exponentially increasing, therefore, gradually shifting its base towards renewable energy generation for future plans…

Picture Credit: wikipedia.org

India’s energy sector stands-out amongst the most classified power sector in the world. Generation of energy extends from conventional sources, for example, coal, hydro, gaseous petrol, oil, lignite and atomic energy to reasonable non-conventional sources, for example, wind, sunlight based, and household & agricultural wastages.

In the World Bank’s list of electricity accessibility for 2017, India has moved up 73 spots to rank 26th, according to Piyush Goyal, former Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Power, Coal, Renewable Energy and Mines, Government of India.

Market Capacity

Across all the power stations in India, the total installed capacity is 30,860.58 megawatt (MW) as of December, 2017. The Ministry of Power has put up an objective of 1,229.4 billion units (BU) of power to be produced for the financial year 2017-18, which is 50 BUs more than the objective for 2016-17.For conventional energy, the yearly growth rate in sustainable power generation is calculated to be 27 % and 18%.

  • With power generation of 1,160.1 BU in India in Financial Year 17, our country has seen a growth of around 4.72% over the previous accounting year.
  • Between FY10–FY17, electricity generation in India rose a CAGR of 7.03 per cent.
  • The aim of the 12th Five Year Plan is to achieve a total domestic energy production of 844 million tonnes of oil equivalent (MTOE) by 2021–22.

Future

The Government of India has set a target of 175 GW for renewable energy generation by 2022, with contribution from solar power (100 GW) & wind power (60 GW). The capacity of power generated by coal is 192 GW and is expected to touch 330-441 GW by the year 2040.

Notes: GW – Gigawatt; FY18* Data upto June 2017
source: Ministry of Coal, NHPC Central Electricity Authority (CEA), Corporate Catalyst India

Thermal

Power generation by coal accounts for a total of 60% of country’s total installed capacity and this generated energy contributes to 72% of total nation’s demand. Thermal power plants used a mammoth 530 million tonnes of coal for the year 2014-15, which constitutes to three-fourths of the total coal consumed in the country. The quality of coal in India is very poor and contains 40% ash, indicating that plants burn 0.74 Kg/KWh of coal for power generation, which is 41 % greater than the global average. Poor coal also leads to increased levels of pollution. Therefore, coal- based power plants are major contributors to pollutants like PM, NOX and SO2.

The country’s coal-fired plants, oil-fired and natural gas-fired thermal power plant mines are inefficient in production and provide a little scope to improve & research on technologies to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases (CO2) and improve the power generation efficiency of the thermal power plants. Our country’s thermal power plants emit 50% – 120% more CO2 per kWh produced when compared to the average emissions from the countries in European Union (EU-27).

The Central Government has decided to completely close 11,000 MW of thermal power generation capacity which has been generating energy for the last 25 years and is listed as old and is being replaced with plants of bigger size plants and of super-critical pressure technology which adds up to 20,000 MW with an estimated budget of ₹ 70,000 crore. To implement this plan, 100 old units of power plant capacities ranging between 60 MW-220 MW are being replaced with 30 state-of-the-art high -critical units with capacity between 660 MW-800 MW, hence, saving and amount of ₹ 40,000 crore on land acquisition and infrastructure cost.

CEA (Central Electricity Authority of India) has calculated that coal-fired power plants will be generating 9,58,444 million units of power in the financial year 2017-18 compared to the previous estimation of 9,21,129 million units of power generation in the year 2016-17. It is reported that 89% of the estimated electricity generation from coal power plants which has been achieved between April 1, 2016 and January 2017.

For the year 2017-18, 12,29,400 million units of power is going to be generated from the conventional sources as compared to 11,78,000 million units of power generated in 2016-17.

CEA has also estimated that by the year 2022 ,most of the thermal plants will be shut down for quite some time and will not be allotted any schedule for generation of energy as India will be shifting its base to Renewable Energy generation. CEA has notified that the total installed capacity from the different types of fuel by the end of the Financial Year 2021-22 which accounts to be 523 GW which includes 50 GW of coal based generation apart from the current construction of thermal power plants which will starts its production & benefits can be obtained by Phase III i.e between 2017-22.

As of 30 April 2017, the breakdown of the total installed utility power generation capacity with sector wise & type wise is classified in the following table:

Hydro

Over the last 20 years, hydro power has emerged as an important contributor for the supply of electricity for the increasing demand for India’s huge ambitions to stand as a global power. Nearly three-fourth of the consumable hydro energy potential in India is being utilised in full-swing and has been a constant pillar of support towards India’s growth in terms of infrastructure and improvement of the society. India stands at seventh largest producer of hydroelectric power amongst all the countries.

As of 30 April 2017, India’s installed consumable hydroelectric capacity is accounted as 44,594 MW, i.e. 13.5% of the total utility power generation capacity. In addition to this, smaller hydroelectric generating units with maximum capacity of 4,380 MW (1.3% of its total utility power generation capacity) has been installed and is successfully operating. Our country’s total hydroelectric power worth is estimated to be 148,700 MW at 61% load factor. For the financial year 2016-17, the overall hydro-electric power generated was calculated to be 122.31 TWh (exclusion small hydro units) with an average capacity factor of 33%.

Thus, in total India is enriched with a hydro-potential of minimum 2, 50, 000 MW.

As of 30 April 2017, the breakdown of the total installed utility power generation capacity with sector wise & type wise is classified in the following table:

The public sector is responsible for 92.5% of country’s hydro-electric generation. The National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC),  Sutlej Jal Vidyut Nigam (SJVNL), Northeast Electric Power Company (NEEPCO), NTPC-Hydro, and THDC  are few of the public sector companies generating hydroelectric power in India. Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB), a state-owned enterprise in Northern part of India, is built with an installed capacity of 2.9 GW. After 40 years of continuous generation of power the cost about 27 paise.

Due to deep-rooted risks involved in the development of hydro power plants which are listed as topographical limitations, natural calamities, environmental barriers and rehabilitation and land acquisition issues apart from commercial risks and change of river basin while plant operation, most of the investor & builders are hesitant to step into this energy sector. The crucial commercial risks for  private investors is the initial high capital investment  and slow Return of Investment because of the high interest rate and long payback  period resulting into financial issues.

With the goal of adding energy-potential worth 10,897 MW & 12,000 MW by the end of 12th and 13th five year plan, the contribution of hydro-generation is anticipated to increase by 25.14% with long term aim to expand the total installed capacity from current level of 20% till 40%.

Conclusion

India’s to make sure sustainable growth, not only economically but also from social and environmental factors dependency on thermal sector for power has been slowly decreasing considering conscious and smart & on the other hand our country’s potential for hydro-power generation is exponentially increasing, therefore, gradually shifting its base towards renewable energy generation for future plans. Hydro power has been recognized as an efficient and affordable source of power for the sustainable development and also branching out many advantages. Though the private investors are slowly entering the hydro power business because of the risks involved, these developers will fully invest themselves into hydro-electric generation  very soon as nation is slowly redirecting itself into producing clean energy with no harm to surrounding environment and offloading the energy generation from non-renewable sources. Accounting our high population growth and huge demand of industrial and infrastructure growth, the power generation from both renewable (hydro) & non-renewable (thermal) sources will go hand in hand to meet the requirements of the nation. But in no time, Hydro-electric power generation would be a monopoly in the power generation business thus cutting off the dependency on thermal power plants and hence working towards a cleaner environment.


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