New power generation capacity in the current 11th Plan period is set to double over the preceding five years in a first, despite hiccups that are causing targets to be missed. The plan ends in March, 2012.
The Planning Commission, in its review on the performance of the power sector, has noted that "power capacity addition by the end of the 11th plan will be about 2.5 times of earlier plan even though it will be only 63% of the power capacity addition targets set for the 11th plan."
"In the first four years of the 11th plan, power capacities have increased by 34,615 mw and may reach 50,000-52,000 mw by the end of the plan," the Commission said. Around 17,600 mw of power capacity is expected to be added this fiscal.
As against this, the power capacity addition in the whole of 10th plan stood at 21,080 mw.
The power capacity addition targets set for the 11th Plan was 78,700 mw but it was later assessed that there may be shortfalls in the capacity addition and the actual addition may be 62,374 mw. However, going by the position of coal, the actual capacity addition may be around 52,000 mw by the end of the plan period.
"Even though the capacity will fall short of targets in the 11th plan, the power ministry's efforts needs to be lauded for a substantial capacity addition of close to 52,000 mw by the end of the current plan," a Planning Commission official said.
The review has also noted that the production of coal, the mainstay of power generation in India, has been seriously affected by the policy of 'Go' and 'No Go' of the ministry of environment and forests. This, it said, has resulted in serious drop in coal production, which was static at around 535 million tonnes in 2009-10 and 2010-11.
"The power generation, from the existing and new plants likely to be added, will get adversely affected, unless domestic coal production picks up at 7% annual growth," the Planning Commission said. The average growth in coal production during the 11th plan stood at 5.1%.