India's peak demand and power needs rising continuously
The demand for electricity in India when its consumption is at the maximum - the peak demand - as well as the country's energy requirement have been rising continuously.
There was a 6.3 percent jump in the peak demand in the country in 2011-12 over the previous year. The increase in energy requirement in 2011-12 over the previous fiscal year was even higher at 8.8 percent.
For Oct 2012, for instance, there was provisionally a deficit of 9.1 percent between requirement and availability of power equivalent to 7,654 MU (million units), the new Power Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia informed parliament this week.
Against an all-India requirement of 84,094 MU of power during the month, the availability was 76,440 MU.
For the six-month period between April-Oct 2012, which also witnessed India's worst power blackout in end-July, the peak power shortage, defined as shortfall in generation capacity during the time of the peak demand was 9 percent or the equivalent of 12,159 MW.
A Central Electricity Authority (CEA) report last month said that the country is estimated to face a peak power shortage of 10.6 percent in the current fiscal.
According to the CEA data, total electricity demand of the country during the year is 140,090 MW, of which 125,234 MW is expected to be met, leaving a gap of 14,856 MW.
The peaking shortage would prevail in all the regions varying from 3.2 percent in the western region and 26.3 percent in the southern region.
"A capacity addition of 17,956 MW during the year 2012-13 comprising 15,154 MW of thermal, 802 MW of hydro and 2000 MW of nuclear power stations has been considered," the CEA said.
As per the 18th Electric Power Survey (EPS), eletricity requirement by the end of the 12th Five Year Plan period (2016-17) is estimated to be 1,354 BU (billion units).
Million or billion unit (MU, BU) indicate the amount of power or energy produced, while megawatt (MW) is used to refer to generation capacity.
In response to a separate query on coal supply to power plants, the power minister informed parliament that power utilities had reported a generation loss of 11.63 BU during 2011-12 owing to shortage of coal.