The major reasons for the power crisis in Tamil Nadu are the following
1. Absence of a long term vision to increase availability of power by capacity addition and encouraging private investment in power generation compared to other states, over the last 10 years.
2. Overdependence on outside sources.
3. Considerable dependence on wind energy which is highly seasonal in nature and therefore not completely reliable.
4. Failure to reduce power transmission losses in the last 10 years.
1.Lack of long term vision
The following stats demonstrates how the gap between requirement and availability of power in Tamil Nadu has altered significantly in comparison with other industrialized states between 2003-04 and 2010-11.
Comparing this with the situation in 2003-04, it can be seen that the status of deficits in most of the states was the same, except in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. Tamil Nadu, in particular, only had a deficit of around 1% in 2003-04. This deficit has been increasing rapidly, especially in the last five years as can be seen from the graph below:
Anticipating a huge increase in demand, driven by economic growth, states such as Maharashtra, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh put in added efforts to increase the availability of power. This was done both by increasing own capacity and by encouraging private investment in power generation. On the contrary, such a long term vision to increase availability of power was absent in Tamil Nadu.
Further, installed capacity in Tamil Nadu increased from around 13,000 MW at the end of the 10th plan to around 14,700 MW in 2010-11, representing an increase of around 12%. This represents the least capacity addition among all the states in this period. States such as Maharashtra and Gujarat have capacity additions of 53% and 21% respectively. States such as Rajasthan and West Bengal increased capacity by as much as 43% and 47% respectively. This is explained in the table below:
The graph below will help you visualize better
2. Overdependence on external sources
There are five main sources of power in a state – own generation, central allocation, power purchased from IPPs, short term power from the exchange and other sources (including wind mills). The sources of power for the various states considered here are shown below
As can be seen from the above graph, among all the states, Tamil Nadu is the most dependent on outside sources.
3. Over dependence on wind energy
All the capacity additions in Tamil Nadu were in private wind generation (R.E.S), which, as mentioned before, is highly seasonal. This can be seen from
the graph below, which shows sector wise capacity additions over the last three years:
Thus as mentioned before, the reason for the low generation by the state sector is the absence of investments by the state in stable internal sources.
4. Failure to reduce Transmission and Distribution losses
Tamil Nadu also has relatively low T&D and AT&C losses of 18% and 19.5% respectively. Even though these values are relatively low, they have remained at these levels for the past ten years. Tamil Nadu is the only state which has not reduced its T&D losses and improved the system over the years. This is evident from the following graph which shows the movement of T&D losses in the different states since 2002-03.
The main problem faced by Tamil Nadu in transmission is with respect to congestion in the Southern grid. The following table shows the capacity of the Indian electricity grid. Further, the southern grid is currently running at full capacity. This is a major problem for a state like Tamil Nadu which is dependent on outside sources of power. As can be seen from the graph below, the amount that can be transferred to the Southern Region is not high. (I am guessing the Kudankulam plant will solve this problem).
1. Projected Demand for Power
The graph below shows projected power demand in Tamil Nadu till 2015-16.
The following shows the break up of the demand sector wise:
2. Supply of Power
Total capacity that will be added in the state from 2011-12 to 2015-16 is 7310 MW, out of which 1860 MW will come from the state sector, 4250 MW from the central sector and 1200 MW from the private sector. The plants coming up in the state in the next five years are shown in the graph below.
The total power made available through capacity additions in the year 2011-12 is expected to be 11,536 MU out of which 6384 MU is generated from TNEB’s own capacity additions, while 4059 MU is allocated from capacity additions of Central Generating Stations (CGSs) within the state. Further, a capacity of 1093 MU will be allocated from CGSs outside the state (namely, NTPC’s Simhadri power plant in Andhra Pradesh and Kaiga APS in Karnataka). In 2012-13, an additional 2770 MU of power is expected to be made available due to further capacity additions by NTPC in the state. The graph also shows an increase in existing capacity from 65420 MU to 88478 MU. This increase is mainly due to higher generation through increased utilization of the plants commissioned in the previous year. In 2013-14, only one plant is likely to be commissioned. This is the 1200 MW thermal power plant, Coastal Energen, Tuticourin.
Strategies to be adopted by the state government: (Taken from the Draft of the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-17) of Tamil Nadu)
(i) Capacity Addition
♦Taking up new projects-North Chennai Stage III and IV, Udangudi project and its expansion, Ennore Annex, Kundah Pumped Storage, Uppur thermal power project, ETPS replacement, Tuticorin stage IV,
Cheyyur Ultra Mega Power Project etc.
♦Speeding up and expediting the completion of on going projects-North Chennai Stage II, Mettur State III, TNEB-NTPC JV Vallur, TNEB-NLC Tuticorin JV, Kudankulam, PFBR Kalpakkam, Neyveli TS-II Expansion
♦Exploring the possibility of adding 10000 MW wind energy through various promoters; Setting up offshore wind power plants;
♦Setting up of Solar Parks;
♦Attract private investments on a commensurate scale;
(ii) Transmission and Distribution
♦Enhancing transformer capacities in the existing sub stations;
♦Bifurcation of high tension overloaded feeders and installation of capacitor banks at distribution transformers for injection of reactive power;
♦Conversion of low voltage lines to high voltage lines along with feeder separation to reduce the distribution line losses;
♦Segregation of agricultural loads from industrial, commercial, and domestic loads;
♦Adequate transmission network to evacuate the power generated from new plants and to distribute the customers;
(iii) Energy Conservation
♦Implementing Bachat Lamp Yojana (BLY) scheme to increase energy efficiency in domestic sector;
♦Improve the efficiency of the agricultural pump sets using appropriate incentive scheme;
♦Solar powered home lighting in 3 lakh Green houses; 1 lakh street lights through solar power;
♦ Energy conservation building code; Energy Star Labeling in Equipments
(iv) Fiscal Health of Power Sector
♦ Make the distribution system financially viable during the Twelfth Plan by rational pricing, bringing modern systems of management, use of IT, enforcement of accountability and privatization or franchising.