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Updated by Power Line on Jan 23, 2019
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Latest Development in Power Sector

Growth Engine - Welcome to Power Line

According to the 2011 Census, 31 per cent of India’s population lives in urban areas and contributes 63 per cent to the country’s GDP. By 2030, urban India is projected to house 40 per cent of the population with a contribution of 75 per cent towards the GDP. To cope with the pressures of a fast growing population and increasing urbanisation on the available resources, the central government is developing 100 cities as “smart cities”, which will involve the development of a sustainable urban ecosystem that drives economic growth and enhances the quality of life through technological applications, infrastructure development and improved services.

Efficient Fault Detection - Welcome to Power Line

Hydro Ottawa is the third largest distribution company in Ontario, Canada, with customers spread across Ottawa and Casselman village. Although it offers industrial load, its customer base is primarily residential and commercial.

New Direction - Welcome to Power Line

In a move that could be a potential game changer for the power sector, the government recently released the draft Electricity (Amendment) Act, 2018, which seeks to fill the gaps in the existing framework and provide a coherent vision for the future.

Rewarding Achievers - Welcome to Power Line

As the April 2019 deadline for household electrification under the Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana (Saubhagya) draws nearer, the government is pulling out all the stops to ensure that the targets are met. Recently, it announced awards for achieving 100 per cent household electrification at the discom/power department level. Under the award scheme, rewards worth Rs 1,005 million will be given to the winning discoms/power departments. The scheme essentially establishes a performance-based ecosystem for the discoms in order to meet the stringent deadline under Saubhagya. A look at the scheme’s progress so far, the award scheme and the key issues and concerns…

Taking Stock - Welcome to Power Line

A significant growth in coal production in the past few years has necessitated the setting up of adequate logistical infrastructure for loading, handling and transporting coal. Over 65 per cent of coal is currently transported by the rail network. However, limited coal evacuation infrastructure and delays in the commissioning of critical rail projects connecting coal mines with end users have posed challenges for the coal industry in recent times.

Generation Roundup - Welcome to Power Line

Capacity addition by renewable energy sources continues to outpace that by conventional sources. In 2017-18, about 11,788 MW of renewable energy capacity was added against 9,505 MW by conventional sources including thermal, hydro and nuclear power. While the renewable energy sector has been receiving active policy support from the government to meet the ambitious 2022 target, the issues of lack of power procurement bids, declining plant load factors (PLFs), domestic coal supply shortage and a funding crunch continue to hamper growth in the conventional energy sector. The issue of stressed assets has emerged as the biggest area of concern in the last few months.

Billing Efficiency - Welcome to Power Line

Madhya Pradesh has been providing its residents with 24×7 power since 2013 – an achievement that can be credited largely to the state’s distribution companies. Madhya Pradesh Paschim Kshetra Vidyut Vitaran Company Limited (MPPKVVCL), which distributes power in the western part of the state, serves approximately 5 million customers, of which 1.5 million are urban, 1.3 million are agricultural and the rest are rural customers. In order to serve its large consumer base efficiently as well as to improve its operational performance, MPPKVVCL has taken several IT initiatives. One of the major initiatives by the utility is the development of open source enterprise-class consumer billing solution in-house. The new billing solution is faster and more accurate than its existing systems and has significantly helped the utility in increasing productivity. A look at the next-generation billing (NGB) technology adopted by MPPKVVCL…

Growing Captive Capacity - Welcome to Power Line

Uninterrupted electricity supply is key to industrial operations as every blackout affects production processes and ultimately results in revenue loss. Captive power plants (CPPs) set up by industrial and commercial consumers play a significant role in meeting their electricity needs and reducing their dependence on the grid. CPPs also help industries in optimising their energy costs, given the high industrial tariffs charged by the state discoms. It has been observed that as the industrial tariff crosses the limit of Rs 6 per unit, consumers tend to move towards open access or captive power. Power consumption from CPPs scores over power procurement through open access as the former is exempt from cross-subsidy surcharge (CSS), as per Section 42 of the Electricity Act, 2003. Electricity procured through open access is comparatively uncompetitive as it is subject to CSS, additional surcharge, wheeling and other charges.

Efficiency Track - Welcome to Power Line

With one of the largest rail networks in the world, Indian Railways is an energy-intensive sector. Reducing its energy footprint is one of the top priorities of the Ministry of Railways (MoR), which has set a goal of reducing the emission intensity by 33 per cent from the 2005 levels by 2030. To this end, the MoR launched “Mission 41k” in November 2016, which aims to save Rs 410 billion in electric traction costs by 2025.

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As per various media statistics, India is the second highest sugar-producing country in the world, after Brazil. Yet, the average size of sugar factories in the country continues to be small, ranging from 600 tonnes of sugarcane crushed per day (TCD) to 10,000 TCD. In addition, recovery in most sugar mills varies from 9 per cent to 12 per cent.

Exploiting Synergies - Welcome to Power Line

On December 6, 2018, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) gave in-principle approval for the sale of central government’s 52.63 per cent stake in REC Limited (formerly Rural Electrification Corporation Limited) to the Power Finance Corporation (PFC) along with the transfer of management control. The move is expected to create a public sector behemoth for power sector financing.

Water Treatment - Welcome to Power Line

Water is nature’s most wonderful, abundant and useful resource, used as a coolant for steam condensation in thermal power generation, HVAC systems and in process plants. For the efficient use of water for power generation, solutions like reverse osmosis and chemical treatment are not sufficiently effective as their residual rejects are costly to manage and difficult to dispose off, creating environmental hazards.