Power utilities in Telangana met a record peak demand of 10,429 mw on Tuesday even as the state was leading the southern region in accelerated demand growth, particularly after the launch of 24/7 free supply to agriculture last year.
With the dramatic rise in availability and supply of power after the Andhra-Telangana bifurcation, the two states today account for 42 per cent of the total demand in the southern region comprising six states. In 2013, just a year before the bifurcation, the undivided Andhra Pradesh accounted for about 33 per cent of southern India’s power demand.
Chief Minister K Chandrasekhara Rao complimented state power utilities for surpassing the 10,000 mw demand (being met), a feat once achieved in the undivided state, through a substantial capacity addition and purchase of power from surplus states such as Chhattisgarh after the formation of the new state.
Currently, the per capita consumption in Telangana is 33 per cent higher than the national average, and is an important index of the development, Rao said on Tuesday.
After the free power scheme was upgraded to 24/7 supply in June, the power demand in Telangana jumped 33 per cent to 9,326 mw (July 31, 2017) from a peak summer demand of over 7000 mw in May last year. This had taken Telangana to the second spot in the region, next only to Tamil Nadu (14,260 mw), as it surpassed the demand of 9000 mw registered in Karnataka while leaving its sibling AP state, which had a peak demand of around 7000 mw, far behind.
Exactly year later, on July 31, 2018, the power demand was up by 11 per cent in Telangana (10429 mw), 18 per cent in AP (8550 mw), 2.92 per cent in Karnataka (9241 mw), 4.7 per cent in Tamil Nadu (14265 mw) and by 6.4 per cent in Kerala (3217 mw), showing a faster demand growth in Andhra and Telangana compared to other states in the region. Of 44821 mw of maximum demand met by the southern grid on Tuesday, the two states accounted for close to 19,000 mw, as per Southern Regional Load Despatch Center’s data.
According to the state power utilities, the three major sectors — industry, agriculture and household consumption — have been contributing 30 per cent each to the total demand while the remaining 10 per cent demand has been coming from trade and businesses. The state government expects the power demand to further go up to 11,500 mw during the ongoing kharif season.
Though power utilities and the government will have to take an extra financial load to the extent of increase in free power consumption, the demand growth itself was perceived as a major achievement by the political leadership for more than one reasons, according to industry observers. One such reason is that the demand growth would justify a massive capacity addition being undertaken in the form of coal-fired power plants by the state government.
The TS Transco and TS Genco chairman and managing director, D Prabhakar Rao, recently stated that the installed capacity under various sources in the state would reach 17,000 mw by December 2018 while the target was to increase this capacity to 28,000 mw three-four years down the line.
The ongoing capacity addition was also aimed at securing power to operate massive lift irrigation projects currently underway. About 9,000 mw of power is supposed to be required to run these lift irrigation projects.