Power shortfall across India highest in a decade

New Delhi: The peak hour shortfall of electricity in the country is projected to touch 14-15 per cent over the next couple of months - the highest in a decade - due to inadequate addition to generation capacity in the last few years. According to government estimates, the country will face a peak hour power shortage of 14,000-15,000 Mw in the coming months, against a demand of over 100,000 Mw, which would result in inevitable blackouts and loadshedding.

During the last five years the power generation capacity added only 21,280 Mw, a little over half the targeted 41,110 Mw. However the next year the situation is expected to a little different as a chunk of the capacity addition which slipped in the 10th plan period (2002-07), would be realised in 2007-08. A significant 14,000 Mw capacity is expected to be added this year.

According to the latest projections regionwise, peaking shortage in the northern region would hit a high of 14.4 per cent in July before tempering to 11 per cent in August. Thought this is better than the peaking shortage of 15.5 per cent recorded by the region in July last year, the situation in some states is worse.

In Punjab the projected peaking shortage in July is 39.7 per cent in July compared to 28.3 per cent peaking shortage recorded in July last year and in neighbouring Haryana there would be a peak shortage of 28.1 per cent in July compared to 13 per cent last year.

The average energy shortage in the northern region will also reach 10 per cent in July.

In the southern region, Andhra Pradesh will face a peaking shortage of 17 per cent in July compared to a shortage of less than 1 per cent in the same period last year. Karnataka will have an acute energy shortage of 13 per cent in June.

Maharashtra is also facing one of the worst crises with an energy shortage of about 20 per cent and is likely to experience peak hour power shortage of over 25-28 per cent in May-June, according to a survey by Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).