India's Power Sector

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Re: India's Power Sector

Postby Suraj » 24 May 2018 06:05

CEA data indicates that fiscal 2017-18 ended with installed electricity capacity of ~345GW, third most after China and USA.

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Re: India's Power Sector

Postby A_Gupta » 26 May 2018 00:42

India's Power Capacity Seen Overtaking Japan This Year: Chart

by Stephen Stapczynski

Fueled by a rapid rollout of coal-fired power generation, India is expected to have Asia’s second-largest power capacity at 363.32 gigawatts in 2018, overtaking Japan, according to data compiled by BMI Research. The nation’s capacity will increase by another 69 percent through 2027 and coal will remain the mainstay, making up about 75 percent of the mix.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... year-chart

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Re: India's Power Sector

Postby jaysimha » 27 May 2018 16:29


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Re: India's Power Sector

Postby Vipul Dave » 28 May 2018 17:08

Mort Walker wrote:


I can guarantee you that in 7 years this will NOT happen. The tariff of Rs. 2/unit is an advertised price and not production price. It is better to replace coal with natural gas. The only viable storage for RES is a fuel cell, which is at least a decade away. Until then natural gas turbines are the most cost effective and efficient way to get power. RES will are best used for peak loads.


This is a very simple calculation. Currently, the lowest tariff recorded is Rs 2.44. If the tariff has to reach bellow Rs 2.0, the solar cell's cost need to down by 18%. The day the solar cell will become 18% cheaper than its current cost, the tariff will touch Rs 2.0 as this form of electricity has no operational cost except cleaning of cell periodically (ignored in this case). So it seem very much feasible. When India started buying solar electricity, it was some 13 rs a decade ago. Now it has reached to Rs 2.5. So with massive production and localization of solar cell production, as solar cell cost will go down, we shall see tariff getting down rapidly. I fore see it bellow rs 2 in 3 years.

Alternatively, if the solar penal efficiency goes up, tariff will come down. If we are able to improve the efficiency of panel by 3% from current level at same cost, cost shall go down bellow Rs 2.

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Re: India's Power Sector

Postby JTull » 28 May 2018 17:21

@Vipul Dave

This reduction in cost over the last decade is even more stark in real terms (factoring in inflation).

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Re: India's Power Sector

Postby Vips » 05 Jun 2018 21:49

Increase in Power generation and Transmission Capacity.

"Last four years have been path breaking. You compare it with what happened in last 48 years. I asked my ministries to compare the 48 years and our 4 years. The comparison was an eye opener."

He said: "In the 48 years before 2014, the pace of capacity addition in generation was about 4,800 MW per year. In our 48 months, the pace of capacity addition was about 24000 MW per year. That is 4.8 times more. We added One lakh MW of generation capacity in four years."

Talking about transmission capacity, he said, "We added one lakh circuit kilometer (CKM) of inter-state transmission lines (excluding intra state). The capacity addition was 3.5 to 4 times more. Till 2014 the pace of capacity addition of transmission lines was only four thousand few hundred CKM. In the (BJP ruled) 48 month, it was 25,000 ckm per year.

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Re: India's Power Sector

Postby Vips » 07 Jun 2018 18:36

All electricity meters to be smart prepaid in 3 years.

Power Minister R K Singh today said all electricity meters in the country will be smart prepaid meters in the next three years.

"In the next 3 years, metering will go smart and gone will be the days of bills reaching your house. So need of the hour is to scale up manufacturing of smart prepaid meters and to bring down their prices." Singh said. He was addressing a meeting with meter manufacturers here.

The minister advised them to scale up the manufacturing of smart prepaid meters as the demand would go up in the coming years.

Singh also advised the officials of the ministry to consider making such meters mandatory after a particular date.

This will revolutionise the power sector by way of reduced AT&C (aggregate technical and commercial) losses, better health of discoms, incentivisation of energy conservation and ease of bill payments etc. Further, it will generate employment for skilled youth, a statement from the ministry said.

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Re: India's Power Sector

Postby Supratik » 12 Jun 2018 22:52


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Re: India's Power Sector

Postby Rahul M » 12 Jun 2018 23:29

Vips wrote:All electricity meters to be smart prepaid in 3 years.

Power Minister R K Singh today said all electricity meters in the country will be smart prepaid meters in the next three years.

"In the next 3 years, metering will go smart and gone will be the days of bills reaching your house. So need of the hour is to scale up manufacturing of smart prepaid meters and to bring down their prices." Singh said. He was addressing a meeting with meter manufacturers here.

The minister advised them to scale up the manufacturing of smart prepaid meters as the demand would go up in the coming years.

Singh also advised the officials of the ministry to consider making such meters mandatory after a particular date.

This will revolutionise the power sector by way of reduced AT&C (aggregate technical and commercial) losses, better health of discoms, incentivisation of energy conservation and ease of bill payments etc. Further, it will generate employment for skilled youth, a statement from the ministry said.

this will also make it very easy to track electricity theft.

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Re: India's Power Sector

Postby saip » 13 Jun 2018 00:19

Theft is not because it can not be tracked but because of corruption. Even with smart meters people with meters will pay and people who steal do not.

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Re: India's Power Sector

Postby Suraj » 13 Jun 2018 01:10

The meters ensure payment, which is required for the electricity infrastructure system to remain solvent.

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Re: India's Power Sector

Postby Rahul M » 13 Jun 2018 01:25

saip wrote:Theft is not because it can not be tracked but because of corruption. Even with smart meters people with meters will pay and people who steal do not.

mostly because it can't be tracked, except manually by an employee physically going to a location to check. it would be very difficult to find out whether a load is generated by legitimate consumers or thieves. a smart meter basically plugs the whole thing into an IoT environment, allowing live tracking & analysis of actual loads vs metered loads at central locations. making it much harder to just pay off somebody to hush it up.

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Re: India's Power Sector

Postby Katare » 13 Jun 2018 20:26

In villages people come out with sticks and forks to chase out linemen trying to cut the lines for no payment. Police would come once or twice and collect their hafta and be done with it. Local sarpanch and politicians would intervene in favor of villagers.

A neighpor of ours who was chief engineer in MP electicity dept told me a couple of years back that collector called and threatened him that he would be sent to jail ( endangering the law and order) if he refuses to connect the electricity back to a village where no one was paying or had a connection.

Onlyway is to get all wires replaced with insulated cables or better go underground, prepaid meters and privatization of the distribution. Privatization works because the bribes start to work from other sides, onlything that politicians need and want more than votes is money. But privatization needs to happen with good policies and regulations or govt would get stuck paying for thefts to private player.

The same engineer when I brought up the privatization option said when entire might of prashashan ( govt) can’t do it how would a private player do it?

Other comment he made was that earlier when MPEB was a stTe department and all th se populist schemes were not devised the department was able collect enough money to pay salaries of all the govt employees.

He said politicians want to give electricity to people who can’t afford it buy building transmission infrastructure that state can’t afford.

So the root of this problem, similar situation exists in all developing/poor countries, lies in mass poverty and political greed to earn botes by unaffordable means. Add corruption to it for large commercial customers and lack of investment and we have got an unsolvable problem.

We would need to somehow keep our head above water until per capita income gets beyond $5k, at that time the priblem would solve itself

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Re: India's Power Sector

Postby Mort Walker » 13 Jun 2018 22:21

^^^I agree. That is why having power at the rate of Rs. 1 KWHr or less at the consumer level is needed. Outside of peak, US power prices are around 10 cents/KWHr. In India the consumer pays on the low end about Rs. 5/KWHr or about 7 cents/KWHr. This is very high given per capita income is so low.

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Re: India's Power Sector

Postby nachiket » 13 Jun 2018 22:33

Mort Walker wrote:^^^I agree. That is why having power at the rate of Rs. 1 KWHr or less at the consumer level is needed. Outside of peak, US power prices are around 10 cents/KWHr. In India the consumer pays on the low end about Rs. 5/KWHr or about 7 cents/KWHr. This is very high given per capita income is so low.

How do you sell power at Rs. 1/KWHr without subsidies? The cost of production will not be magically lower in India commensurate with difference in per capita income. Power production is not a labor intensive process.

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Re: India's Power Sector

Postby Mort Walker » 13 Jun 2018 23:21

^^^It would have to be subsidized, at least for a decade, but if power rates were low, industrial development would ramp up and GDP would see 1.5-2% increase. Building infrastructure capacity is a governmental function.

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Re: India's Power Sector

Postby Supratik » 14 Jun 2018 01:03

Bad suggestion. Subsidies once given are difficult to take back and pushes the sector towards bankruptcy. Bite the bullet. Give 24X7 power at market price except agriculture which in India is unviable and work on the economy. The PM did that when he was CM.

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Re: India's Power Sector

Postby nachiket » 14 Jun 2018 03:03

Mort Walker wrote:^^^It would have to be subsidized, at least for a decade, but if power rates were low, industrial development would ramp up and GDP would see 1.5-2% increase. Building infrastructure capacity is a governmental function.

Is there data to substantiate that it is the high cost of power that is stifling industrial development in India? There are so many other issues- lack of good road and rail connectivity between production centers and domestic markets as well as ports, inadequate capacity at the ports, archaic labor laws, land acquisition issues, complicated tax structure (being remedied with GST) etc. Inadequate power production was a much bigger worry till recently especially after the coal scam etc.

I do understand high cost of power affecting private consumers. We already have power subsidies for agriculture. That is enough for now. Further subsidies will only increase the fiscal deficit without significant returns.

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Re: India's Power Sector

Postby Mort Walker » 14 Jun 2018 08:54

Supratik wrote:Bad suggestion. Subsidies once given are difficult to take back and pushes the sector towards bankruptcy. Bite the bullet. Give 24X7 power at market price except agriculture which in India is unviable and work on the economy. The PM did that when he was CM.


To some degree there already are subsidies to support state electricity boards for power transmission and distribution. Some power sources such as nuclear are within NPCIL that is financed by the center. At the front end of power generation of actually acquiring land, building the plant and providing the fuel may have to be covered by the central and state governments. This would be necessary to bring power production per capita to a certain level. NPCIL has a pretty good track record of >80% load factor which is better than any other energy source for power production.

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Re: India's Power Sector

Postby JohnTitor » 14 Jun 2018 18:10

Have to agree with bribes bring the issue for theft.

There is a slum not too far from where I live, they steal electricity and several complaints have been made. We were told there is political protection and nothing can be done.

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Re: India's Power Sector

Postby Prasad » 14 Jun 2018 23:41

You can use smart-meters no? for cutting off power to those who're not paying your bills.

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Re: India's Power Sector

Postby Suraj » 14 Jun 2018 23:54

In my opinion, a lot of issues with power theft and pilferage are scarcity driven problems. Make something hard to obtain, hard to pay for, hard to depend upon, and it will be stolen at any given opportunity. That has been the general story of electricity in many low income urban and most rural areas. Dealing with the SEB to get a connection is painful, paying for it is painful, and the supply is not dependable. The relationships are not sequential either, with each of these axes arguably being causative factors of the other and essentially maintaining a vicious circle of the problem.

The solution to the problem is to essentially split off the axes as problems in themselves. Focus on sequential installed capacity and electricity production growth YoY so effectively the supply pie itself is rapidly bigger. Greater supply significantly addresses the reliability issue as well. The smart meters if you look at it, is a means to fix the 'pay for it easily' problem. There's a subsidy or capital outlay gap required between the points where supply is grown, and where demand pickup stabilizes once people are willing to pay because paying for a reliable connection is a better option than stealing unreliable power.

All these anecdotes about villagers with pitchforks are not problems in themselves - they're simply symptomatic of a scarcity economy in a utility. Take away the problem of scarcity and accessibility, and the behavior itself will go away.

There used to be a time when telephones and calling was a scarce and expensive proposition. Who remembers all the absurd behavior that used to happen then ? They're long past, because neither owning a phone nor access to the network is a scarce utility anymore.

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Re: India's Power Sector

Postby Mort Walker » 15 Jun 2018 00:00

^^^This is where rooftop solar will work in areas where electrification is difficult.

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Re: India's Power Sector

Postby disha » 15 Jun 2018 00:46

Katare wrote:We would need to somehow keep our head above water until per capita income gets beyond $5k, at that time the priblem would solve itself


I think the per capita income is a proxy for productivity. People will try to get whatever they can for free. If thieving power without consequences is possible, people will thieve power.

It should be thought the other way round, what is the loss of productivity if one does not get power? There are still large parts in India which were going without power, but imagine your entire day wasted and you losing your earnings just because the power went off? And if the cost of settling the bill is cheaper than losing your power (smart meter/underground cables etc help) and losing your productivity thus losing income, people will turn around and settle the bill.

Hence the per capita income if it is a proxy of productivity and thus income, then yes after a certain threshold the problem will solve itself. Now what is the threshold for India?

I would suggest that government introduce induction cooking in big way. After 2-3 years, 50% of the homes should not have cooking gas, but induction ovens. Now if the power goes off, I do not think people will have ability to fight the day without their garam-chai. That is a big dampener on productivity.

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Re: India's Power Sector

Postby Mort Walker » 15 Jun 2018 01:03

^^^OT, but I don’t know if induction cooking can generate enough heat for the types of dishes that are cooked in Indian cuisine. We need somewhere over 50,000 BTU.

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Re: India's Power Sector

Postby Rishirishi » 15 Jun 2018 02:01

Mort Walker wrote:^^^OT, but I don’t know if induction cooking can generate enough heat for the types of dishes that are cooked in Indian cuisine. We need somewhere over 50,000 BTU.



It is fully possible. Millions of NRI do just that.

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Re: India's Power Sector

Postby Katare » 15 Jun 2018 06:18

Disha,
You missed the point, the problem is of affordability and it’s conflict with political/humanitarian desire to provide electricity to people as basic service. You can stop theiving even now by strict rules but you would deprive a very large section of population of electricity.

Once per capita income reaches $5k mist people would be able to afford electricity so govt could enforce the laws more forcefully. If it doesn’t thieving would continue.

Well that’s how it has hapoend in other countries and i don’t see why it would be any different for India

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Re: India's Power Sector

Postby Mort Walker » 15 Jun 2018 06:33

Theft losses today are lower than what they've been in the past. So there has been some improvement. There is also a safety issue and damage to the distribution system due to theft. Many places where there is theft, they hook on to the hot, but not neutral and then ground incorrectly causing fire.

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Re: India's Power Sector

Postby Mort Walker » 15 Jun 2018 06:35

Rishirishi wrote:
Mort Walker wrote:^^^OT, but I don’t know if induction cooking can generate enough heat for the types of dishes that are cooked in Indian cuisine. We need somewhere over 50,000 BTU.



It is fully possible. Millions of NRI do just that.


Probably less than a million and most likely can't properly prepare many dishes.

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Re: India's Power Sector

Postby Rahul M » 15 Jun 2018 06:48

the solution to scarcity is not providing an expensive service as a freebie; thievery is certainly not a solution. kerosene is also an expensive commodity for the poor, but we do not encourage loot or theft from the PDS shops do we ?

the solution is to ask consumers to pay for electricity at a rate they can afford, subsidise it if need be but enforce the payment strictly. freebies always tend to be abused mercilessly. where people get electricity free of cost or at a nominal flat rate (something like Rs 50 p.m, irrespective of units consumed) I have seen the kind of wastage that goes on. people do not switch off any electrical appliances *ever* because 'hamara kya, sarkar ka paisa hai'. heck, I have seen people keep light bulbs switched on 24/7 in winter months for the 'warmth' (no, it doesn't work).

MW, except things that need scorching over flame, other dishes can be made quite well on induction cookers. I had one in my bachelor days on which I had cooked everything from rice to dal, chicken, chutney etc. roti is one thing I haven't tried.

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Re: India's Power Sector

Postby JohnTitor » 15 Jun 2018 08:21

Agree with Rahul.

Scarcity is one thing, but affordability is another. Electricity is quite expensive in India, at least in KA, on a PPP basis. I used to pay less as a percentage of my income for more in the UK though the UK is considered expensive.

On average price per KWH is around 6-8 rupees. It should be closer to 1-2.. lower costs will also encourage use of EVs, speed up growth and reduce theft. But there will always be people who steal.. just look at the below he entire panel, wires etc have been stolen. How do you develop the country when everything is stolen?

https://swarajyamag-com.cdn.ampproject. ... res-stolen

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Re: India's Power Sector

Postby Katare » 15 Jun 2018 08:35

Rahul M wrote:the solution to scarcity is not providing an expensive service as a freebie; thievery is certainly not a solution. kerosene is also an expensive commodity for the poor, but we do not encourage loot or theft from the PDS shops do we ?

the solution is to ask consumers to pay for electricity at a rate they can afford, subsidise it if need be but enforce the payment strictly. freebies always tend to be abused mercilessly. where people get electricity free of cost or at a nominal flat rate (something like Rs 50 p.m, irrespective of units consumed) I have seen the kind of wastage that goes on. people do not switch off any electrical appliances *ever* because 'hamara kya, sarkar ka paisa hai'. heck, I have seen people keep light bulbs switched on 24/7 in winter months for the 'warmth' (no, it doesn't work).

MW, except things that need scorching over flame, other dishes can be made quite well on induction cookers. I had one in my bachelor days on which I had cooked everything from rice to dal, chicken, chutney etc. roti is one thing I haven't tried.


You are talking about the right way of doing it but how would you do it? What I am talking about is how it is not how it should be.

Not sure who is encouraging loot and theft of electricity?

It is not only the stolennpart but even the part that is sold to paying customers is highly subsidized by state governments for votes while they know they can’t afgord it. The end result is the generation companies get left with huge debts and bankruptcy. In Pakistan they have a word for it “circular debt”.

There is thievery and loot in PDS too and I think much more than the electricity sector for the same reason and this too will largely go away with prosperity.

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Re: India's Power Sector

Postby Suraj » 15 Jun 2018 21:15

Rahul M wrote:the solution to scarcity is not providing an expensive service as a freebie; thievery is certainly not a solution. kerosene is also an expensive commodity for the poor, but we do not encourage loot or theft from the PDS shops do we ?

the solution is to ask consumers to pay for electricity at a rate they can afford, subsidise it if need be but enforce the payment strictly.

It is hard to make this work without adequate supply that can make the 'rate they can afford' make sense, otherwise it will simply become an unsustainable situation as it is now. This requires upstream subsidies and capex to build capacity to generate the lower prices, then stabilize the demand side. Electricity needs to be cheap to generate. And SEBs need to be super convenient to interact with for payment, e.g. via mobile pay. People will pay when they get assure reliable and cheap electricity that they can pay for without having to trek to the SEB office and bribe someone to pay a bill. Fix those and the problem will go away.

Remember a time when telephones were a scarce commodity. We did all kinds of things because it was scarce. Nowadays youngistanis will look in shock and laugh if told the stories of our childhood or parents' generation with telephones.

I do not think per capita income growth alone will fix this. Currently, per-capita electricity supply in India is still very low by global standards. We can't price inadequate supply cheaply. US produces 3x as much and China about 5x as much, from my hazy recollection of stats. Yeah we're #3, but a long-way-behind #3. Actual focus on production and T&D is necessary, along with breaking the fiscal logjam of SEBs, something this administration has put a lot of emphasis on . Next is to ensure last mile delivery and billing is smoothened.


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