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Web Exclusive | March 2013

Power deficit rises in southern states

Due to several reasons southern states have failed to meet up to 17 per cent of its peak power demand of 36,000 megawatt (mw) in January. This was the highest monthly deficit in the south in recent times, said Central Electricity Authority (CEA). By contrast, the western region registered a deficit of 5.8 per cent, eastern region 5.4 per cent and the North faced a shortfall of 10 per cent during the month.

The power supply crunch led to a load-shedding of 4,000 mw in Andhra Pradesh, 3,327 mw in Tamil Nadu and 2,500 mw in Karnataka in January. The crisis is primarily the result of the ongoing slump in fresh capacity addition, a historic dip in hydro reservoir levels feeding southern stations, decline in gas supply from Reliance Industries' KG-D6 block and coal crunch for thermal stations.

With all the three fuel sources - coal, gas and hydro - blocked and local protests having spoiled the commissioning of the Kudankulam nuclear power plant, the energy lifeline of the region has been snapped. A similar situation in any other region would have been salvaged by importing power from surplus states in other regions.

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