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    Round-up of 2013 as we enter the most awaited year for smart grid in India


    The year 2013 saw several important decisions and critical steps being taken to speed up the languishing power projects, remove bottlenecks and interact closely with all stakeholders whether state governments, ministries, or the private sector to make power generation a seamless process.


    1. Installed Capacity/Capacity Addition and Power Generation

    The total installed capacity of the power sector stood at 2,29,252 MW by October 31st 2013 with the private sector contributing a significant 72,927 MW and including 12% from Renewable sources. The power sector saw a total capacity addition of 20,622.8 MW during 2012 to 2013 which is the highest record of capacity addition in a year so far with a little less than half of it coming from the private sector and also exceeded the target of 17956 MW for the year 2012 to 2013. For the year 2013 to 2014 a capacity addition target of 18,432 MW including 2000 MW of nuclear power has been set, with the highest contribution of 7859 MW expected from the private sector. A capacity addition of 7,008 MW has already been achieved till Decmeber 10th 2013.


    2. Transmission

    Inspite of bottlenecks, it was possible to add 17107 ckm of transmission lines during the year 2012 to 2013 and it is proposed to lay 18674 ckm of transmission lines during 2013 to 2014, out of which 7620 ckm is already achieved till November 2013. Number of substations targeted for the period are 35363 MVA and achieved upto November 2013 are 26180 MVA. Purnea Bihar Sharief transmission line which was commissioned this year became the first transmission line in the private sector. Work is now on on transmission voltages of -+800kV HVDC & 1200kV 1200kV UHVAC after Conserving Right of Way, minimizing impact on natural resources, coordinated development of cost effective transmission corridor, flexibility in upgradation of transfer capacity of lines matching with power transfer requirement became major areas of concern in development of transmission network in the country. The southern grid connectivity got fast-tracked in the current year and 60% of the work got completed with the establishment of 315 towers. The grid connectivity is likely to be completed by January 2014.


    3. RGGVY (Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana)

    The government has been able to surpass the targets set for the RGGVY under the Bharat Nirman programme. Since its inception, electrification works in 1.08 (96%) lakh un-electrified villages, 3.03 lakh (79%) partially electrified villages have been completed and free electricity connections to 2.13 crore (77%) BPL households have been released under RGGVY as on 15th November 2013. Reforms introduced in RGGVY this year are meant to ensure energisation of villages as compared to mere electrification. Now, villages with just 100 people will also get access to electricity while there has been an increase in prescribed load for a BPL household to 250 watts and for an APL household to 500 watts.


    4. Financial Restructuring of State DISCOMs

    To rescue the state owned DISCOMs from their financial difficulties, the scheme of Financial Restructuring Plan was notified this year. The scheme provides for various measures to ensure financial and operational discipline for the state owned DISCOMs and support from the GOI in the form of Transitional Finance Mechanism. The scheme has been successfully implemented in Tamil Nadu, UP, Rajasthan and Haryana. FRPs have also been finalised for states of Bihar, Jharkhand and Andhra Pradesh.


    5. Grid Security & Grid Discipline

    Managing the world’s third largest power transmission system grid is an increasingly complex task. India faced major grid failures in July 2012. To ensure grid security, islanding scheme for Delhi has been completed while that for UP, Punjab and Haryana under finalisation. Unscheduled drawals were strictly controlled during the peak season this year. Discoms were asked to ensure compliance within +/- 150 MW or 12% of their schedules irrespective of frequency. Feeder transmission lines were identified for disconnection in case of violation of overdrawal limits.


    6. Smart Grid

    14 Smart Grid Pilot projects identified in 2012 were approved for 50% funding by Government of India in July 2013. The Smart Grid Vision and Road map document for India was released during Power Minister’s Conference on September 10th 2013. Activities for planning the launch of National Smart Grid Mission have been initiated.


    7. Emphasis on clearances & removing bottlenecks

    Large number of power projects have been held up for want of environment and forest and other clearances and due to fuel supply bottlenecks especially with regard to coal and gas. This year the emphasis has been to follow up on these aspects with a sense of extreme urgency. As a result, as many as nine important hydro electric projects received environmental, forest and wildlife clearances this year including Teesta IV in Sikkim, Kol Dam in HP, Tawang II in Arunachal Pradesh, Loktak in Manipur among others.


    8. Ultra Mega Power Projects

    The revised Standard Bidding Documents for Ultra Mega Power Projects were introduced this year which include several features that are designed to boost investors confidence. On the basis of these revised Bidding Documents, 2 UMPPs have been brought to bidding stage ie Odisha and Cheyyur UMPPs . These UMPPs will provide an investment opportunity of over INR 40000 crore to private sector both domestic and overseas and would lead to a capacity addition of about 8000 MW. 4 UMPPs have so far been transferred to the selected developer namely (i) Mundra in Gujarat, (ii) Sasan in Madhya Pradesh, (iii) Krishnapatnam in Andhra Pradesh and (iv) Tilaiya in Jharkhand.All the 5 Units of Mundra has been commissioned.


    9. Special Focus on Jammu & Kashmir and North-Easter Region (NER)

    24 hours power supply was assured to distant Leh and Kargil areas by the full commissioning of the Nimu Bazgo and Chutak Hydro Projects in J&K this year. The Transmission line from Srinagar to Leh was approved which will provide the much needed electricity to the Ladakh region. In J & K, 14 projects, 3 projects in 10th Plan and 11 projects in 11th Plan have been sanctioned under RGGVY. Cumulatively as on November 15th 2013, the electrification works in 192 UE villages and 3,018 PE villages have been completed and free electricity connections to 64,255 BPL households have been released. Adequate funding will be made available to Arunachal Pradesh for their sub transmission projects. The Northeast Agra link to transmit clean energy from the North-Eastern and Eastern region of India to the city of Agra across a distance of 1,728 kilometers has already been inaugurated. Foundation stone was laid for Bishwanath Chairyali HVDC link for evacuation of power from Hydro projects in NER. Due to constant pursuance with DONER, EGOM has been set up for resolving issued concerning clearances and infrastructure requirements for Hydro Projects in the North East.


    10. Efficiency & Energy Saving

    The Perform, Achieve and Trade scheme under the National Mission for Enhanced Energy Efficiency has already helped to save 6.5 million tonne of oil equivalent within a year of its launch last year.


    Source – Strategic Research Institute

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014

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