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Editorial | December 2017

Em-powering one and all

It has been an exciting journey of 9 years for Power Today, your beloved magazine, in chronicling and presenting an incisive analysis of events in power sector. Keeping constant tabs on developments, analysing the performance and future prospects of various sectors, contribution of various government departments and suggesting future direction on various aspects was a constant challenge, in which we think we have measured up to your expectations with the help of stakeholders. <p></p> <p>A quick review of the comparative figures over nine years indicate that generation and transmission segments have made a tremendous progress. Installed capacity has gone up to 327 GW at end-March 2017, from 143 GW as at end March 2008. The share of thermal and renewables as sources in the total installed capacity have gone to 58.79 per cent and 17.52 per cent respectively from 53.2 per cent and 7.8 per cent respectively in 2008. On the other hand, gas and hydro have seen their share in the total capacity dwindling during this period from 10.2 per cent and 25.1 per cent to 7.75 per cent and 13.61 per cent respectively.</p> <p> However, the Plant Load Factor, which denotes the available capacity utilisation has come down to 63.33 per cent (for all capacities except renewable sources) at end-March 2017 compared to 78.61 per cent (for thermal plants alone) at end-March 2008. This means we are saddled with a huge idle or surplus capacity, even as estimated 250 million people (or 50 million households) are not blessed with electricity connection in the country. That is an anomaly that is begging for attention. To address this issue, recently the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched a scheme 'Saubhagya', which envisages free electricity connection to 4 crore rural and urban poor households. </p> <p>Under the village electrification programme, it has covered 83 per cent of 18, 452 un-electrified villages already. </p> <p>In transmission segment, there was 2 lakh circuit kilometres (ckm) of 400 kV and 220 kV networks put together at end-March 2008. Total transmission capacity of 26,300 ckm added during 2016-17 alone, even as +/- 800 kV HVDC and 765 kV lines using advanced technology were introduced to the network during recent years, reflects the enormity of the network now. </p> <p>On AT&amp;C losses front also the country has made a huge progress, though much needs to be done yet. The percentage of these losses has come down from 34.54 per cent in 2006-07 to 24.62 per cent in 2014-15. India is far behind several countries in terms of per capita power consumption at 1075 kWh per annum, which is one-third of world average. As such, the big challenge in front of the government is raising per capita power consumption utilising the surplus capacity available already.</p> <p>Our regular focus in the Anniversary Edition is Power 20:20, ranking of best companies and personalities in the power sector, profiled in association with Feedback Infra. As usual, it has thrown up several surprise winners like Teesta Urja Limited and Sembcorp Gayatri Power, which were adjudged as the Highest Growth Generation Company in Hydro in Public Sector and the Highest Growth Generation Company in Coal/Gas/Nuclear in Private Sector respectively. Greenko with US parentage and Gamesa have edged out some well-established players to become the emerging leaders in the surging renewable segment in India - in solar and wind segments respectively, to mention a few. </p> <p>Enjoy reading encountering more surprises as you go along.</p>
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17 Oct 2016
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