Govt taking steps to check spot power rates: Power Secretary A. K. Bhalla
The government is taking steps to check spot prices of power that zoomed to over Rs 9 per unit yesterday following shortage of supply from hydro-power, wind and nuclear plants, a top government official said today.
Power Secretary A. K. Bhalla exuded confidence that spot power prices will fall to Rs 5 per unit today after measures, such as increasing coal supply to thermal power plants by 17 per cent, taken by the government. He said wind power shortage, maintenance of nuclear plants, fall in hydro electricity generation, scanty rain and soaring temperature pushed spot power prices to over Rs 9 per unit.
The spot power price touched the peak of Rs 9.38 per unit during a trading session yesterday. The average spot power price has come down to Rs 5.05 per unit by noon today with availability of 100MW surplus power at exchanges, as per the Vidut Pravah portal.
Taking cognisance of shortage of coal at power plants, the coal ministry yesterday assured to increase supply to the sector to 225 rakes.
“The sudden spike in spot power rates to over Rs 9 per cent unit yesterday would be contained today and price would come down to around Rs 5 unit,” Bhalla told reporters at the sideline of CII conference on power transmission.
“There was a shortage of wind power by 7,500 MW and 2,500 MW nuclear plant was under maintenance shut down. It was sudden. Rain has not taken place. Temperatures increase as well as agriculture demand comes in rainy season,” he explained.
He further said, “Today you might see it little bit better. It has gone up to Rs 9 per unit but it will come down to Rs 5 per unit.”
“Generation at four hydro power plants went down quite a lot. It went down 12 per cent. Coal generation has gone up by 17 per cent. We are getting more coal rakes. More than 200 rakes are being loaded for power sector. It (spike in spot power price) was for very short term.”
While addressing the conference, Bhalla pointed out that the UDAY scheme for revival of power discoms was a first step as realisation of cost of power supplied is also needed to reduce losses. Bhalla also expressed hope that all the villages would be electrified by the end of this calender year.
According to the Garv portal, out of 18,452 unelectrified villages, 14,363 are electrified. As many as 3,102 villages would be electrified by the end of this year while 987 villages are not habitated which cannot be electrified.
The power secretary also expressed hope that power consumption will increase in line with industrial growth and electrification of villages. He also pointed out that some states have not gone for tariff based bidding of transmission projects, which can create more competitive environment for the segment to grow.