Load-shedding likely after the April 10 Lok Sabha elections

Load-shedding soon after the April 10 polling day has become almost a certainty during the remaining part of this scorching summer as the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) wilts under the weight of the ever-increasing power consumption in the State.

Each day these past four days, the State has been setting new records in power consumption and on Thursday, it crossed the 70-million-unit mark.

8 million unit jump

The average daily power consumption nowadays is above 69 million units as fans and air-conditioners overwork adding to the usual demands on energy. This is a clear 8-million-unit increase in power demand over last year and the current trend suggests the situation is set to worsen with each passing day.

‘‘May be after the elections, the KSEB may be forced to seek the permission of the government and the electricity regulatory commission for power supply restrictions,’’ an official with the planning division of the KSEB said on Friday.

Hydel generation, which is the buffer with which the heavy power demands of the summer months are managed usually, is in the region of 30 million units a day now. The reservoirs do not have sufficient water storage to sustain the generation at this level for the rest of the summer. At this level, the storage would be exhausted by May beginning, the official said.

The generation of power within the State — hydel and thermal, including power from non-KSEB sources — is hovering in the region of 43 million units.

With 27 million units of power flowing into the grid from outside the State — Central stations and traders — the KSEB just about managed the supply of 70 million units of power to the consumers on Thursday.

Demand in southern States

‘‘We may not be able to sustain supply at this level (not only from our hydel sources, but also) from the traders. Power demands in neighbouring States are also going up. Karnataka recently invoked a provision in the Electricity Act to issue an order to the traders and independent power producers against selling power to other States because of scarcity there. Although we have obtained a court stay on the order, in practice we are not receiving a third of the total power we have signed up for purchase from Karnataka,’’ the official said.

On top of all these, there are blocks that may come in due to southern region transmission limitations.

Keywords: KSEBLoad-shedding

More In: Kerala | National