The Long Road Ahead Solutions for Power Sector Problems in India
The Situation India has the fifth largest power generation capacity in the world, generating some 4% of all power. The per capita consumption is about 704kWh, which is fairly low. Transmission and Distribution losses of electricity in India stands at almost 33%- a shocking figure much higher than global benchmarks. The current transmission capacity is only a measly 13 percent of the total installed generation capacity and stands at about 20,750 MW.
The Goals By the year 2012, the power sector is poised to handle a 1000 kWh per capita consumption, as outlined by the 11th Plan. This means a need-based capacity addition of about 10,000 MW by such time. The domination of Centre and State Utilities in the Power Sector is being sidelined by privatization of various capacities through outright privatization or franchisee routes. The Ministry of Power plans to establish an integrated National Power Grid by 2012 that will have a generation capacity of 200,000 MW and an inter-region power transfer capacity of 37,700 MW. View slide
Target Areas and Past Measures There is a need for improvement in metering, billing and collection efficiency. Greater regard for Private Ventures in the field of Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution, by way of liberalizing related government policies. The unbundling of SEBs and the Electricity Act, 2003 have been pivotal turning points. Accelerated and Power Development Reforms Program to help distribution and granting permission for trading of power. View slide
Challenges faced There are several challenges faced by new, private entrants in the power industry. Some of them are project execution- problems arising due to unpreparedness for the projects, shortage of equipment especially by BHEL, delay in financial closure. Geological surprises, delay in clearance from ministry of environment and forestry and natural calamities are causes for hampering hydroelectric power. fuel security power equipment capacities infrastructure constraints- for instance, coal being a mainstay of the energy production in the country requires increased coal transportation by the Railways- where we face capacity shortage.
Plans vs. Plants: Building Castles in the air?
Suggestions There is a need for sound project management principles in a well-structured framework. Stakeholder Identification and Communication Planning in the project’s early stage. This has a major impact on project schedule and budget. A detailed procurement level planning primarily addressing fuel availability and equipment shortage. Schedule integration- The preparation of a master schedule interlinking various planned projects to avoid gaps and mismatches. Enhanced manpower training, higher salaries and addressing changing employee aspirations to attract well-trained and skilled human resources.