New Delhi: India will fail to meet its power generation growth goal, (has) lagged far behind China in adding new capacity and remained dogged by shortages of coal for power plants," minister of state for oil Bharatsinh Solanki said in Parliament on Monday.

Growth goal: India is lagging far behind China in adding new power generation capacity. Ramesh Pathania / Mint.

In 2007-08, India produced only 77% of the revised target of 12GW; last year it was only 46% of the targeted 7.53GW. (1GW is equal to 1,000MW.)

“The capacity addition target for the year 2009-10 is 14.50GW against which the achievement is expected to be over 10GW," Solanki said in a written reply.

He said that China had on an average commissioned one station of 2GW every week, adding about 100GW in a year, but India has not been able to add 10GW in any single year.

The minister has said India’s peak power deficit is expected to widen this fiscal to 12.6%.

Power minister Sushil Kumar Shinde had earlier said that projects that can produce 18.43GW have been delayed due to delays in supply of equipment.

On Monday, Solanki said power equipment maker Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd, or Bhel, was working towards raising its capacity by half to deliver 15GW by December.

Bhel may raise its capacity to 20GW by 2011, he said, adding Indian companies have set joint ventures with foreign firms to produce power equipment in India. A big reason for power shortages was lack of fuel. Some plants of power generation company NTPC Ltd faced coal shortages in the April-June quarter, he said.

NTPC would need 145-150 million tonnes (mt) of coal in the current fiscal, including 12.5mt of imports.

Coal fuels at least half of India’s installed power generation capacity, and shortages are not new to the sector.

“It was always there. Coal production increase is also there but not to the extent required by improved generation of existing plants and capacity additions. Earlier, we used to import coal, but now prices are high," former power secretary R.V. Shahi said.