Transmission losses bog down Bihar power cos
Electricity transmission losses, at 43.54 %, continue to be much higher than the target stipulated by the Bihar Electricity Regulatory Commission, according to Bihar’s economic survey 2016-17patna Updated: Feb 23, 2017 20:35 IST
Bihar’s demand for power has shot up from 1,800 MW in July 2013 to 3,854 MW in November 2016, which it has been able to meet through power purchase. The flip side of it has been the high aggregate technical and commercial (AT&C) loss, says the state’s economic survey report for 2016-17.
- Bihar’s power availability was 2,831 MW in 2014-15. This increased to 3,769 MW in October 2016 - a 33% increase in two years
- Additional capacity of 5,589 MW will be added to the state’s power availability making it power surplus by 2018-19
- Bihar’s generation and power purchase, taken together, increased from 11,966 million units in 2011-12 to 21,677 MU in 2015-16
- AT&C loss, due to large scale rural electrification, was as high as 59.24% in 2012-13, but had come down to 43.54% in 2015-16
- Bihar, with 88.7% of its population living in rural areas (2011 census), remains the most rural-oriented state in India
It says that the high AT&C loss was due to large scale rural electrification in Bihar.
Against an AT&C loss of 59.24% in 2012-13, the same in 2015-16 had come down to 43.54%, which was still higher than the target stipulated by regulator - the Bihar Electricity Regulatory Commission.
The Centre, under its Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana (Uday), which seeks to bring about an operational and financial turnaround of discoms (distribution companies), has proposed the reduction in AT&C loss to 15% and reduction in gap between average cost of supply and average revenue realised to zero, both by 2018-19.
Bihar, with 88.7% of its population living in rural areas (source: 2011 census), has done much on rural electrification. Against 1.06 lakh tolas, the power firm has been able to electrify 75,000-plus in the state. The remaining 30% work is expected to be complete before the December 2018 deadline of chief minister to make power available to every household.
Transmission issues, however, continue to stymie the progress of power sector in north Bihar. Bettiah, Motihari, Gopalganj, Siwan, Chapra, parts of Vaishali, Gopalganj and Sitamarhi face a cumulative shortfall of 250-300 MW power because of transmission constraint. With 400 kV super grids coming up in Darbhanga and Motihari, the power firm would be able to tide over the crisis soon.
As per the generation plan, additional capacity of 5,589 MW will be added by 2018-19 and Bihar’s total available capacity was expected to be 8,925 MW, making it a power surplus state.