Power generation in the country, despite all issues (primarily coal availability and capacity augmentation), seems to be encouraging, and ended on a positive note during FY14. Total power generating capacity increased 19,685 MW during the year, against 23,467 MW in FY13.
In March 2014, on a year-on-year basis, the total power generation in the country grew by 5.4 per cent to 84.6 billion units as compared to 80.3 billion units in March 2013. All three power segments - thermal, hydel and nuclear - reported a year-on-year rise in generation in March 2014. During the month, nuclear power generation grew by 12.4 per cent. Generation from hydel and thermal power segments increased by 4.5 per cent and 5.2 per cent, respectively.
In 2013-14 as a whole, total power generation in India grew by 6 per cent to 967.2 billion units as compared to the 4 per cent growth in the previous year. ¨The rate at which power generation has happened during FY14 is satisfactory, as two years back it was 8.1 per cent,¨ says Rupesh Sankhe, Analyst, Karvy.
The total power generating capacity increased 19,685 MW during the year, according to CEA compilation, against 23,467 MW in FY13. While thermal and renewable energy sources, whose data is supplied by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, showed lower growth, capacity addition in hydropower at 1,040 MW was twice the increment during the earlier year. Nuclear power drew a blank for the second year. The total capacity addition of 43,152 MW during the first two years of the ongoing 12th Plan, about 36 per cent of capacity augmentation targeted for the plan period, was vastly better than the 15,636 MW added during the first two years, or about 23 per cent fulfillment in the 11th Plan.
Capacity generation addition (MW)
Says Venkatesh Balasubramaniam, Analyst, Citi Equities, ¨The increase in generation was mainly on account of impressive performance by hydel power stations. In 2013-14, hydel power generation in India jumped by 18.6 per cent to 134.8 billion units. Increase in water availability is expected to have resulted in a strong growth in hydel power generation.¨
In 2013-14, the country received good rainfall during the monsoon season. According to India Meteorological Department (IMD), total rainfall in the country during June-September 2013 was around 6 per cent higher than the long-term period average (LPA). This led to considerable rise in water levels in the reservoirs. Due to increase in water storage, more water is expected to have been released for power generation, resulting in a double-digit growth in hydel power generation.
Muted private vs impressive PSU
In 2013-14, private sector companies recorded a 2 per cent fall in hydel power generation. On the other hand, hydel power stations owned by Central and State Governments managed to report impressive performance on the generation front. Hydel generation from Central Government-owned power stations grew by 7.8 per cent. The State Government-owned power stations recorded a stupendous 31.5 per cent rise in hydel power output. State Government-owned power stations account for over 50 per cent of total hydel power generation in India.
Thermal and nuclear
Thermal and nuclear power segments witnessed around 4 per cent rise in generation in 2013-14. Nuclear power generation increased by 4.1 per cent. As against the target generation of 35.2 billion units, nuclear power stations in India could generate only 34.2 billion units of power during the year. This was mainly on account of delay in commissioning of the Kudankulam atomic power project. Apart from this, closing down of some of the nuclear power stations (on account of technical problems or for maintenance purpose) also impacted nuclear power generation.
Thermal power generation grew by 4.2 per cent in 2013-14 to 792.5 billion units. Although thermal power stations reported a y-o-y increase in generation, they fell short of the planned target by 2.5 per cent. The plant load factor (PLF) of thermal power stations also came down to 65.6 per cent from 70.1 per cent in 2012-13.
During the year, coal-based generation increased by 8.3 per cent. However, a poor performance by gas-based and lignite-based power stations dragged down the growth in thermal generation below 5 per cent. Lignite-based generation slipped by 0.3 per cent in 2013-14, whereas gas-based power generation fell by 33.4 per cent. Lower availability of natural gas from the Reliance KG-basin took a toll on gas-based generation. India´s gas-based generation has been falling precipitously since January 2011. Gas-based generation had declined by 6.8 per cent in 2011-12 and by 28.5 per cent in 2012-13.
The total grid-connected installed capacity at the end of FY14 was placed at 243,029 MW comprising 29,463 MW (12 per cent) from rapidly rising non-conventional renewable power and 88 per cent from conventional power; thermal power, bulk of it coal-fired, constituted four-fifth, large hydro 20 per cent and nuclear just around 2 per cent of conventional power. The share of non-conventional energy, which comprises small hydropower, wind power, solar power, biomass/biogas and industrial/urban waste, has doubled from around 6 per cent, six to seven years ago. Captive generation capacity in industries having demand of 1 MW and above, grid interactive (as on March 31, 2011), has been placed at 34,444.12 MW.
Around 36 per cent of power capacity is in the western region followed by 27 per cent in the northern region, 24 per cent in the southern region, 12 per cent in the eastern region, and only 1 per cent in north-eastern and island regions. The western region leads in thermal power and northern region in hydro. The southern region leads in RES, with 45 per cent share in all-India aggregate, followed by the western region (34 per cent) and northern region (19 per cent).
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