Panel to review power availability

It appears that the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) will be able to manage the dry months till May 2013 only with further restrictions in power supply.

The northeast monsoon too has been a disappointment for the State as of November 21. The season, beginning from October 1, has brought only 69 per cent of the normal rainfall till that date, according to the latest rainfall update of India Meteorological Department.

The State Electricity Regulatory Commission will review the power availability situation before the end of this month to decide whether to allow the KSEB to continue the existing power supply restrictions.

The first point that will come up at the review is that the northeast monsoon has worsened the power availability situation. The second point is that, in spite of the existing restrictions in power supply, overall power consumption in the State continues to remain high.

“We evaluated the situation on Friday. The overall daily power consumption varied between 50 million units and 56 million units. On holidays and rainy days, the consumption was around 50 million units and on most other days 56 million units. Only if we can keep the consumption below 50 million units a day, can we manage situation with the existing supply restrictions till the end of May next,” KSEB chairman M. Sivasankar said on Saturday.

He said the shortfall in the availability of cheap hydropower had to be met by purchasing high cost electricity from thermal stations running on liquid fuel. When the regulatory commission conducts its review at the end of this month, one of the options that will be examined is whether the duration of load-shedding has to be increased to bring down the average daily energy consumption to around 50 million units a day.

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