Subdued demand coupled with surplus electricity availability has slowed down the addition of new capacity for generating power from conventional sources of energy such as coal and gas. The installed electricity generation capacity of non-renewable energy sources in Gujarat grew by just 0.7% in 2015-16. The growth was 6.2% and 5.2% in 2013-14 and 2014-15 respectively.
According to data from the Union power ministry data, Gujarat’s installed power generation capacity from non-renewable energy sources stood at 20,765.82 MW in 2015-16 as against 20,611.30 MW in 2014-15, an annual addition of 154.52 MW.
Power sector experts attribute the sluggish demand of power coupled with surplus electricity generation to slower growth in addition of new capacity for conventional power. “The power sector across the country is passing through tough times. Demand for power has not grown in proportion with new capacity added in the last few years. As a result, capacity addition has slowed down noticeably,” said K K Bajaj, a city-based energy expert.
Industries and agriculture are among the major consumers of power in state. “If the manufacturing sector grows, demand for power picks up. However, reduced manufacturing activities has affected electricity demand. Gujarat ends up with around 1,500-2,000 MW of surplus power every day,” said a source who is closely monitoring the power scenario in the state.
“Considering the current demand-supply situation, no new capacity is being planned and work on power projects already taken up is currently going on,” the source added.
According to experts, increased usage of power efficient equipment in industries, agriculture and homes has also contributed to the rationalization of electricity consumption. “On the other hand, power from renewable energy sources, especially solar, is giving tough competition to conventional energy,” added Bajaj.
Sluggish demand has prompted power generators to divert surplus power to the open market, which has further resulted in easing of power tariffs in the market.