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Budget 2016: Long way to go for 24x7 Power for All

Usha Rani Das | Feb 11, 2016, 05.17PM IST

The Indian power system is the fifth largest in the world and among the most complex. With an annual electricity production of 1,031 billion units (BU), it is among the top five power consumers across the globe, and the demand is expected to touch 1,900 BU by 2020. Still, it is far below the average global consumption.

As on June 2015, all-India generation capacity stood at 275 gigawatts (GW) with a contribution of 69% from thermal energy, 15% from hydro, 13% from renewable, and 2% from nuclear sources. The eastern region contributes 12% to the total generation capacity. Despite the efforts to generate more electrical energy by using multiple energy sources, the country has recorded a shortage of 3.6% of demand in FY15. As per the Central Electricity Authority's (CEA) Load Generation Balance Report 2015-16, in spite of the expected capacity addition of 20 GW, the country will probably experience energy shortage.

Growth in industrial activities, population, economy, prosperity and urbanisation, along with rising per-capita energy consumption, has widened the gap of energy access in the country.

Experts also say that while there is supply, lack of technology is hindering its potential from being unlocked to its full power. Allocation of funds and tax exemption are the most important expectations of the sector to achieve the government's ambitious vision '24x7 Power for All by 2019'. All hopes are pinned onto the upcoming budget of the new government.

(Image credits: indiatimes, Ministry of Power, Coal and New & Renewable Energy)
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