Most of rural India received less than 20 hours of power supply a day in August

Round-the-clock power supply in most of rural India remains a distant dream with many States far behind in ensuring 24×7 electricity for these regions.

According to data shared by the Ministry of Power in the Lok Sabha, Haryana, Sikkim, Jammu & Kashmir, Ladakh, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh received less than 17 hours a day in August. But rural areas of eight States continue to receive round the clock electricity. These are Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Maharashtra, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and West Bengal.

The situation has improved from last year in many States with Jammu and Kashmir, Odisha, Haryana and Manipur reporting an increase of one hour or more in average hours of electricity supplied to villages during 2020 compared to 2019.

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  1. DISCOM’s outstanding dues to power GENCOS rise has been 36% to Rs 1.29 lakh Croes in July / August across India and Rajasthan DISCOM’s has not been able to pay GENCOS energy bills for the last 10 – 11 months apart that STATE GENCO’s outstanding for fuel payment has been exponentially rising DISCOM’s are under the stress since borrowing has become expensive apart they are not buying low-cost solar power from SECI to meet consumer demand and growth. The agriculture connections to farmers are long pending because of extremely poor health, negative industrial growth, and a shortfall in meeting demand to match growth.
    IEEFA’s recent report recently launched has wonderful recommendations that putting 250 MW DSG+ Storage in each district in the country will transform the present scenario and meet the 24×7 energy demand for the rural population. Solar PPA prices since then declined to Rs. 2.36 / unit and that Li-Ion batteries are rapidly falling, therefore this concept will prove to be more feasible for the DISCOMS as against MEGA / ULTRA MW scale Solar Power Plants being auctioned by SECI and planned by NTPC on cost economic consideration.
    The clean energy road map for 2030 must look now into the electrification of everything i.e. agriculture, residential, commercial, transport, and industrial including heating and cooling requirements by fast deployment of DSG + Battery Storage system with smart grid harmonization functions to harness immense solar potential available all across the country. The installation of a well-engineered 500 KW to 2.5 MW small-scale DSG system with 25% storage capacity to generate at integrating at 60000 nos. 33 /11 KV S/S across the county will fit into the existing distribution transmission networks and supply clean energy 24×7 to the rural population at an affordable cost of Rs. 3 to 3.5/ unit secured for 25 / 30 years PPA.
    The concept will fit into 100% RPO for Distribution Companies and meet the target of 160 GW through the installation of rooftop, standalone off-grid system, and DSG with Storage and ensure 24×7 power supplies to all.
    The cost economic models for the execution of proposed recommendation with an allocation of the entire capacity of 160 GW to Distributed services is the essence that IIEEFA, GOI, NITI AAYOG, CERC, RBI (Already mandated), and stakeholder must work for realization of these propositions with social, health, and long term benefits. The sharp reduction of cost on solar, and storage and innovation in solar generation technologies makes a perfect case now for the 100% elimination of carbon-intensive power generation technologies and transform to switch over to solar energy by 2030 and save human life at large from carbonated environment.

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