Karnataka is currently the State with the best equipped power systems to transition its electricity system from being fossil-powered to renewable energy sources, followed by Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat, says an analysis by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) and Ember on Monday.
As part of its international obligations, India has committed to generating about half of its electricity from non-fossil fuel sources and reducing the emissions intensity of its gross domestic product (GDP) by 45% by 2030. Achieving this is predicated on States tweaking their infrastructure, used to deliver electricity, to efficiently accommodate inputs from multiple power sources such as solar, wind, hydro-power as well as existing fossil fuel sources.
The Centre has approved the Intra-State Transmission System – Green Energy Corridor Phase-II that lays the infrastructure for connecting electricity generated from renewables with the power grid in seven States. The corridor scheme, with a total estimated cost of ₹12,000 crore would receive 33% Central financial assistance, or ₹3,970 crore.
The authors of the analysis prepared a scoring system for 16 States, which account for 90% of electricity production in India. Performance on four broad parameters namely decarbonisation, performance of the power system, readiness of the power ecosystem and policies and political commitments determined their scores.
Each of these parameters were broken into subcomponents. The ‘readiness of the power ecosystem,’ in which Karnataka topped, consisted of sub-components such as the quality of power supply, feeder segregation (how the load is balanced among various categories of consumers), smart metering (billing and electricity payment systems) and electricity intensity of GDP (electricity consumed per unit of GDP). The data for evaluating these parameters were mostly sourced from government databases.
Karnataka scored well, as it was able to supply electricity to meet almost all its power requirements in FY2022, with a shortage of 9 million units (MU) against the total annual power requirement of 72,692Mus. The State also exceeded its target of segregating feeders by 16% and achieved 100% of its target of installing smart meters, the analysis noted. Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat were the next best performers whereas Bihar, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh scored the least on these parameters. Rajasthan, one of the top States successfully decarbonising its power sector and having among the largest installed renewable energy capacity, scored relatively low on most parameters of this dimension. In absolute terms, it had the highest shortage of power supply with 489MUs in FY2021-22, which is 0.55% of its annual power requirement.
However, when evaluated over all parameters, Karnataka and Gujarat were the States making the most progress in overall preparedness and commitment in the transition to clean electricity whereas Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal needed to do the most work in transitioning their systems.
“India’s revised Nationally Determined Contribution [NDC] targets have put the country on the right path for transitioning its electricity sector. To achieve those targets, the Centre now needs the cooperation of the States to move faster in their clean electricity transitions. This means States redoubling their efforts to walk the electricity transition pathway, and both Central and State governments tracking progress and taking corrective measures as required,” Vibhuti Garg, Director, South Asia, IEEFA and co-author of the report, said in a statement.