India missed its target of becoming a power-surplus nation after its peak power deficit stood at 0.8 percent and the overall energy deficit remained 0.6 percent for the financial year 2018-19.
In its Load Generation Balancing Report (LGBR) for the fiscal year, the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) had pegged overall energy and peak power surpluses at 4.6 percent and 2.5 percent, indicating that nation would be a power-surplus country in the financial year.
In 2017, the department had in its LGBR projected that India would become a power-surplus nation in 2017-18. But, the peak power deficit was 2.1 percent, while overall electricity deficit was 0.7 percent across the country in that financial year.
According to the latest data made available by the CEA, during peak hours, as much as 175.52 gigawatts (GW) was supplied against a demand of 177.02 GW leaving a deficit of 1.49 GW or 0.8 percent in 2018-19.
The data showed that as much as 1,267.29 billion units (BUs) of electricity was supplied against the demand of 1,274.56 BUs leaving an overall electricity or energy deficit of 7.35 BUs or 0.6 percent during 2018-19.
According to industry experts, the primary reason for the deficit is the nation’s discoms not being able to buy power. Thanks to their outstanding dues standing at around Rs 40,698 crore toward power generators till January this year.”
India has an installed power generation capacity around 356 GW, while at present the peak demand of about 177 GW. These numbers make it hard to believe how the country is in deficit. The power generation can be easily enhanced, but that will hinge on the discoms paying their outstanding dues and further purchasing more power.
During March 2019, the overall energy deficit was 0.4 percent. As much as 108.19 BUs of electricity was supplied against the demand of 108.66 BUs in the month. The peak power deficit in the month was 0.4 percent as 168.74 GW power was supplied against the demand of 169.46 GW.
The numbers also hide discrepancies between regions, with key states reporting a much better supply situation than large northern states like UP. South India in particular is probably technically power surplus already.