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CEA to help state power utilities become energy efficient


Hyderabad : The Central Electricity Authority (CEA) is drafting a scheme to help state power utilities with interest subsidy or additional electricity allocation to enable them meet energy efficiency obligations, Chairman Arvinder Singh Bakshi said Thursday.

He said the union power ministry would hold an internal meeting Aug 1 to see how it can handhold state electricity utilities to meet the obligations under the Perform Achieve and Trade (PAT) scheme, notified by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE).

Under the PAT scheme launched earlier this month by the BEE, eight energy-intensive sectors such as thermal power plants, iron and steel, cement, fertilizer, aluminium, textiles, pulp and paper and chlor-alkali have been included.

The CEA is the statutory organisation for technical coordination and supervision of power generation programmes in the country. The energy efficiency standards of thermal plants will be improved by 2015 under PAT scheme.

“Primarily implementation of PAT scheme would be a problem in public sector because private sector have resources and the wherewithal to meet the obligations under PAT. NTPC and other CPSUs have also have in-house expertise, finances to meet the obligations under the scheme.

“The problem is with the state electricity boards. They don’t have resources, adequate manpower and money to spend on meeting the obligations,” Bakshi told reporters on the sidelines of a conference organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

Since carrying out major renovation may not be possible in two years, Bakshi suggested the state power utilities should come out with alternative schemes to meet the obligations in shortest possible time.

Noting that large super critical thermal units are being installed which reduce coal consumption by five percent, he called for moving to ultra super critical units. “We are planning to set up a committee to help the country to take that plunge.”

To a query, he said the coal imports would continue to increase. Last year, India imported 33 million tonnes to meet the shortfall in the domestic production.

He said the country would be adding 88,000 MW capacity in 12th five-year plan. “All are under construction and they are most probably will come up in 13th plan,” he said.

Bakshi said though power shortage had come down from 16-17 percent six years ago to 10 percent, it is still huge. “Even with 10 percent we should not be happy. Ten percent of 133,000 MW demand is about 13,000 MW. We still have shortage of 13,000 to 14,000 MW.”

Stating that the country is mainly dependent on coal for electricity generation and with non-availability of other fuels, he underlined the need to improve the efficiency of thermal units.

“Indian power sector is mainly dependent on fossil fuels for generation of electricity. Given limited availability of these fuels need to protect environment need to produce power run as efficiently as possible and develop efficient plants in future,” he said.

Out of the present installed capacity of 205,000 MW in the country, thermal capacity constitutes 136,000 MW. Thermal plants produce 70 percent of annual generation.