Power sector expects a new dawn

Power sector expects a new dawn
Wishing you all a Happy New Year!
As the New Year stepped in, this is the time to analyse performance, look back on the kind of new initiatives taken during the last year and lay down a roadmap for future development. 
The year 2012 was not so bright as far as power sector in India is concerned. Worsening fuel scarcity, poor financial status of SEBs, and lack of co-ordination between power and coal ministries roiled the sector. The major outages in July due to frequent grid failure added ‘salt to the injury’.
Described as ‘one of the biggest power outages in the history of the world’, the grid failure kept almost half of India in dark. The outage had not only resulted loss of thousands of crore’s business, but also unearthed the health status of ill-managed power distribution sector. “Repeated occurrences of grid failures carry a negative image of India, when sentiments about the country are already low on account of the current economic situation and related developments,” commented Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, CII.
Indian power sector also failed miserably in achieving generation capacity addition. Out of targeted 17,956.39 MW, the sector could add merely 9,839 MW till November 30th last year. Acute scarcity of fuel has been emerged as one of the top-most bottlenecks for not achieving the target. In order to address this issue, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Minister of State for Power, outlined, “The rate of coal exploration needs to be stepped up through infusion of technologies; gas-based plants should be used for peaking power and a peaking-power policy needs to be put in place and finally, there is a need to build capacity aggressively and focus on renewables.”
Amidst several challenges, the power sector in India experienced a few positive initiatives like proposed Rs.1.9 lakh crore debt-restructuring package for ailing discoms and strengthening efforts to set up islanding system for power transmission in Delhi. Also, the performance of private players were quite optimistic. According to Anil Sardana, Managing Director, Tata Power, “The private sector added around 15,000 MW of new capacity in the past year.”
As 2012 came to an end, Indian power sector would look for new dawn in 2013 with abundant fuel supplies, improved financial health of discoms, and enhanced reliability in T&D. 

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