State has a pact with Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, apart from Central package
Electricity availability in Karnataka until the onset of the next southwest monsoon, including the summer of 2013, is expected to be markedly better than the previous year, with the State entering into a long-term power purchase agreement with the governments of Gujarat and Chhattisgarh, apart from the package it has received from the Union government.
Union Minister for Power M. Veerappa Moily has assured authorities here that they can rely on his good offices to overcome the power shortage.
Shortage of 1,000 MW
The State, at present, has a shortage of around 1,000 MW.
This is being made good by the purchase of 500 MW from Gujarat and 200 MW from Chhattisgarh and the recent rain has also helped in reducing demand for electricity demand.
Energy Minister Shobha Karandlaje told The Hindu that power availability in the State will stand to be augmented shortly when the Kudankulam nuclear plant in Tamil Nadu is commissioned.
The first 1,000-MW unit of the nuclear plant is expected to be synchronised with the southern grid in about a month. Thereafter, Karnataka will get 275 MW. The electricity will directly be transmitted to the Kolar station and there on be distributed to various regions.
‘Situation better here’
As per the information available with Ms. Karandlaje, the electricity situation in Karnataka, is much better than the neighbouring States of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu which are reportedly reeling under severe shortage. Karnataka has been successful in obtaining a tender of the Power Grid Corporation which has enabled it to purchase nearly 750 MW from other States.
Sources in the State government told The Hindu that an all-out effort is under way, short-term and long-term, to steady electricity availability, although the State has been reeling under severe shortage over the past five years.
Added to this, fillip is being given to the formation of many diesel-generated power grids and mini- and micro-level hydroelectricity plants to effectively optimise power resources of the State. It is another matter that obtaining forest and environmental clearances for the power plants is much more difficult now. With reference to a statement that additional power will be made over to Karnataka to tide over the crisis provided it arranges to evacuate the electricity made available, the Energy Minister said the existing transmission line between the northern and the southern grids was fully loaded and there was no scope for further transmission. The Power Grid Corporation had taken up work to increase the transmission network and this was expected to be completed in about two years.
Unconventional energy sources
Meanwhile, efforts are on to encourage entrepreneurs to generate electricity from unconventional energy sources within the State. Wind energy, solar and biomass energy are the chief resources of unconventional power in Karnataka. Many villages of the State have already successfully employed the use of unconventional power.
Encouraged by their success, various other projects are scheduled to be taken up by Karnataka Renewable Energy Development Ltd. to increase its scope and area of operation.