Thermal Power Generation

Electricity is vital for development and social transformation for all developed and developing countries of the world. Today’s Infrastructure requirement in the world, electricity is the most essential component. Without ready availability of cheaper energy, the great strides taken by the society, industry, transport and agriculture could have been unimaginable. Energy is at the root of civilization and technological up- gradation. After the independence, Government of India has recognized the importance of electricity and it receives much priority for its development. As a result, substantial sums of money were allocated and spent during the successive plan periods. The electricity industry has grown substantially to the country’s energy requirements. The significant development of appropriate technology in respect of improved generation and distribution of electricity has helped electric power to become a key ‘input in the national development process’. In the initial years there was a considerable hydel capacity, which provided cheaper source of hydel power. The total installed capacity of power plants in India was 2300 MW in 1951 comprising 1741 MW of thermal plants, and 599 MW of hydro capacity. Even in 1990 the thermal and hydel ratio continued 69 : 29. Since then, no major irrigation/hydel power projects have come up. All the subsequent capacity additions have been in thermal. The installed generation capacity in India the ratio of hydel thermal energy mix stood at 24 : 74 by the end of 1998-99. This may take place 20 : 80 in the years ahead.

Demand and Supply Position of Electricity

The demand for electricity in India has been glowing fast year by year, hi spite of the significant and impressive strides in the development of power, the growth in demand surpasses the growth in power generations. The deficit was to the time of 6 per cent to 23 per cent during the last decade. The severe electricity shortage starts to increase from 1994-95. This is mainly because of heavy slippage in installed generating capacity under utilization of power’ capacities and T & D (Transmission and Distribution) losses.

The gap between energy availability and requirement is 4,17,788 MKWH in 1999-2000 and 6,50,919 MKWH in 2006-2007. In order to bridge the gap it is necessary to augment the installed capacity and generation. The shortage in 2006-2007 was 12.6% between demand and supply. The projected peak demand and installed capacity required for the years 2006-2007, 2011-12, 2016-17, 2021-22, 2026-27,2031-32 is given. The capacity as percentage of 5 year plan target during VIII, IX and X plan was 54, 47 and 42 per cent. The XI plan projected capacity Addition is estimated to be 67,000 MW. The capital cost of ongoing projects over 43700 MW is approximately ? 2,05,00 crores.

Energy Demand and Supply

India’s energy appetite is expected to grow by 40 per cent in the next five years, straining the already existing infrastructure Meeting the surging energy demands coupled with the pressure of sustaining gr owth rate of nine per cent, as envisaged in the Eleventh Plan, hinges upon the Impressive growth rate in the energy sector in general and the power sector in particular The onus is undoubtedly on the power sector.

Electricity is a concurrent subject The primarily responsibility of stmctilling its availability and distribution is of the states. The union government was earlier facilitating this process through coordinated planning, regional electricity boards inter-state transmission links and a few central generating stations With the establishment of major central generating companies like NTPC, NHPC, NEEPCO and the central transmission utility, Powergrid as well as with the decline in the financial and operational health of State Electricity Boards or other utilities, the role of the union government has got enlarged Seeing the pathetic state of household electrification particularly in rural areas the RGGVY was launched in 2005. This has been preceded by major intervention schemes like AS and SP to boost state sector generation and APDRP to address the severe meledy of high Sub-Transmission Distribution and commercial losses. Along with restructuring the opaque monolithic electricity boards on independent tariff setting regime under the regulatory commissions has been put in place.

Surging Energy Demand

The integrated Energy Policy Highlights that per Capita Consumption of Electricity in India is one of the world’s lowest But considering the increasing population and growing energy demands consumption is bound to increase. To deliver a sustained growth rate of 8 to 9% by 2031-32 and to meet the life line energy needs of all citizens. India needs to increase the primary energy supply by three to four times and its energy generation capacity by about six times. It is estimated that the total primary energy requirement in India would grow to 2043 MTOE (Million Tonnes of Oil Equivalent) by the year 2031-32. The integrated Energy Policy has estimated the requirement of power generation capacity would be almost 800 GW by the year 2031-32.

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