Transmission constraints affecting power supply in India

Power Secretary, A K Bhalla recently stated during a panel discussion that with the current installed power generation capacity of 330 GW and the available power of 220 GW against the peak rated requirement of about 155 GW. India is a power surplus country today.

Elaborating on the matter, he said, “Surplus power is available nationally but we cannot carry that to all the places with circuit constraints within the states. These are the constraints which lead to power cuts and other shortages of power in localized areas.

He was of the view that though, there is sufficient increase in inter-state power transmission capacity, however, transmission within the states (intra-state) is where major issues come up as some of the states’ power carrying capacity is limited making it difficult for this surplus power is to reach where it is needed.

He feels that the consumer should not suffer due to the inefficiency of power distribution utilities and there should not be any unscheduled power cuts. The existing legal framework provides that the power cuts should be done only in case of technical faults or natural calamity. There is penal provision for unscheduled power cuts. But power regulators have rarely invoked that provision and penalized discoms.

Bhalla added that the Electricity Amendment Bill will provide for 24X7 power for all from April 1, 2019. The bill will soon be discussed with the states before finalization for approval of the Union Cabinet and introduction in Parliament. The bill is likely to be pushed for passage in the Parliament sometime in July this year.

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