Smriti Kak Ramachandran

It pegged Delhi’s power demand for 2010 Games at 7,000 MW

NEW DELHI: Anticipating an increase in demand and consumption of power in the coming years, the Union Power Ministry has pegged Delhi’s demand for electricity at 7,000 MW during the Commonwealth Games in 2010. However, experts in the power sector disagree with the Ministry’s estimates and assert that the figure is exaggerated.

According to experts, Delhi’s demand will barely reach 6,000 MW even with a rise in population and the profligacy during the Commonwealth Games.

Basing their assertion on the current energy consumption and demand pattern, the experts point out that the demand will not reach 7,000 MW even by 2012.

Anticipated increase

“The anticipated increase per year is 5 to 6 per cent. Even if we presume that the projected load demand is 5,545 MW, which is what the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) has quoted in a study as Delhi’s requirement for the 11th Plan period, the demand in that case will have to increase by 12 to 13 per cent annually,” said an expert.

He cited the results of the 17th Electric Power Survey conducted by the CEA, where the expected demand for Delhi’s use for the years 2011-2012 has been projected as 6,100 MW.

“There is no need to push the panic button. Work to increase the generation capacity and overhaul the existing units is under way. Besides, Delhi has already met a load of 4,030 MW in May 2007. This year the maximum load demand is yet to cross 4000 MW,” he said.

According to sources, the Delhi Government’s Power Department too concurs with the view and has raised the issue with Union Ministry of Power.

Grid discipline

An official of the Power Department said: “Even with its current demand pattern, Delhi is one of the States that maintains grid discipline. As for meeting the increased load demand, not only is the generation being increased, the present transformation capacity at 400 kV grids is about 4,410 MVA and 6,775 MVA at 220 kV grids.”

He said the demand for energy in Delhi during the first quarter of the year had shown a fall of 6.7 per cent compared with last year’s demand.

Officials also claim that the demand for energy is unlikely to spiral because of judicious use and consumer awareness.

“If all the consumers of Delhi switch to CFLs, the energy saved will be about 500-600 MW. The use of energy-efficient appliances and use of renewable energy sources is also on the rise. Therefore it is doubtful that the demand will go as high as 7,000 MW in the next few years,” the official said.

Experts also claim that closure of illegal units, sealing of unauthorised premises, clamping down on theft and bringing more areas under the billing net have also helped rationalise the consumption of energy.

Consumers careful

“The discoms are ensuring that people now pay for the electricity that they consume. There are no free lunches any more, so the consumers are careful in using energy,” said an expert.