New Delhi: Continued power disruption in northern, southern and western regions have forced industrial units to curtail their industrial production by about 15% in June-July 2007.
Without improvement in assured power supplies, loss of industrial production is likely to exceed 25% in August and September, according to a survey carried out by Assocham in these regions.
Power deficit that thousands of industrial units suffered in June-July was estimated between 20-25%, range of which would go beyond 35% in Aug-Sept due to excessive rains.
The regions were reeling under acute power shortage in June and July and rains have only added to it as defects in the transmission system. Resultantly industrial production in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Goa have to be curtailed to the extent of 20-25% particularly in manufacturing units as these have no alternative means to produce power.
Since a few new capacities are emerging in power sector and T&D losses remain untamed to the extent of 60% in most leading states except Delhi, Punjab and Haryana, power situation is unlikely to get better in next few months even though mercury levels will fall significantly.
Lack of fresh investment and modernization coupled with huge transmission losses are responsible for the grave power situation in the country which will continue.
Maharashtra, an industrialized state, is facing one of the worst crises with energy deficit touching about 20%, facing energy deficit of over 1700 Million Units (MU) and peak deficit which exceed 4200 MW. Maharashta is resorting to an average load shedding of 8-10 hours a day.
Madhya Pradesh, which has a power requirement of over 3500 MU, has availability of little over 2400 MU with deficit ranging over 26%. The situation is no better in Gujarat where power deficit is approximately 13%. The availability in the state is only 4780 MU against the requirement of 5500 MU. The Southern part of the country is likely to suffer energy shortage to the extent of 2000 MU particularly in Andhra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
In Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, the deficit will force its industrial locations to curtail their production by 40% as the gap between availability of power in UP and Bihar and their supplies is around 1500 MU.
Jammu & Kashmir suffered a power shortage of 16% in June-July which will go around 25% and the gap between power availability and supplies would be around 1000 MU. However, in case of Delhi the power shortage would stay around 25% with gap between power availability and its supply going up by 300 MU in Aug-Sept ‘07.
According to the chamber power theft, leakages and transmission and commercial losses were the main reason for power deficit in these states. Use of non-conventional sources of energy especially for domestic usage and street lightning, is another short-term solution recommended by opinion leaders.
Maharashtra has a potential to generate 5000 MW of electricity through wind energy and another 1500 MW by way of bagasse cogeneration. With the use of non-conventional resources of energy, these regions can become a power surplus state in few years.
Demand side management and transfer of surplus power from captive units to the state grids were suggestions cited to fight power shortages in the short term. Mumbai Government has already proposed to switch off lighting systems of large billboards post midnight since no one really benefits from that.