New Delhi: India has again missed the target of becoming an electricity-surplus nation by a whisker as its peak power deficit stood at 0.8 per cent and the overall energy deficit remained 0.6 per cent in 2018-19. In its load generation balancing report (LGBR) for 2018-19, the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) had pegged overall energy and peak power surpluses at 4.6 per cent and 2.5 per cent, respectively, indicating that India would be a power-surplus country in the financial year.
In 2017 also, the CEA in its LGBR had projected that India would become a power-surplus nation in 2017-18. But, the peak power deficit was 2.1 per cent, while overall electricity deficit was 0.7 per cent across the country in that financial year. According to the latest CEA data, during peak hours, as much as 175.52 gigawatt (GW) was supplied against demand of 177.02 GW leaving a deficit of 1.49 GW or 0.8 per cent 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 per cent during 2018-19. A power sector expert said, "The deficit is primarily due to discoms not being able to buy power. Their total outstanding due was Rs 40,698 crore toward power generators till January this year."
He added that India can be a power-surplus state as its installed power generation capacity is around 356 GW against the peak demand of about 177 GW. The power generation can be doubled provided distribution companies (discoms) pay their dues promptly. During March 2019, the overall energy deficit was 0.4 per cent. As much as 108.19 BUs of electricity was supplied against the demand of 108.66 BUs in March. The peak power deficit in the month was 0.4 per cent as 168.74 GW power was supplied against the demand of 169.46 GW.