Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh in recent years has not been averse to power pangs. Worsening climatic conditions, coal shortage in thermal plants as well as forced closure of some units for technical reasons has increased the power problem. But now things in the state seem to be changing with stringent checks and measures.
At the peak of the power crisis in the country, Uttar Pradesh was the only state that supplied 25,348 megawatt of electricity on a single day — reportedly the highest in history. Understandably the Chief Minister Yogi at different forums has continued to buttress the need to ramp up reforms in the energy sector.
In the meantime Urban Development and Energy Minister AK Sharma has thanked employees and officers of UPPCL for their efforts and asked them to be ready as the demand for power is still rising. He also appealed to the citizens to exercise restraint and use electricity responsibly.
If numbers are a yardstick, Uttar Pradesh is reasonably well placed than many other states. As the most populous state, the Energy department has ensured district headquarters and bigger cities are free from rostering even in peak crisis situations. The turnaround has been possible with help from Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.
Setting things in order
The state has taken up the rollout of the Revamped Distribution Sector Scheme (RDSS) of the Centre and the state on a priority basis. The need to check power pangs in the state is even more important because there are approximately around three crore households with electricity connections.
The deadline for complete implementation of scheme is 2024–2025 and Uttar Pradesh government has allocated a budget of Rs. 5,000 crore for this. With this scheme, aggregate technical and commercial loss (AT&C) will decrease to 12-15 per cent.
The update will take into account ongoing Deendayal Upadhyaya Yojana, Saubhagya, and IPDS programmes. Under this, new power stations of 33-11 kV are to be built. Additionally, generation capacities of the existing power stations with 33-11 kV capacity will be increased, as per a media report. In addition, 33 kV lines that are overloaded and those connected to multiple power stations will be separated.
On the tariff front, a proposal has been sent by power companies to the Electricity Regulatory Board, where it has been proposed to increase the rates of electricity supplied to the industrial sector by 16 percent, commercial rates by 12 percent and agricultural rates by 10 to 12 percent. If this proposal is approved, the cost of electricity per unit for domestic rural consumers will increase from Rs.3.50 to Rs.4.35- (first 100 units). Whereas, Rs 5 for consuming more than 300 units. Instead of 50 paise per unit, you will have to pay Rs 7 per unit. At the same time, a petition has been filed in the State Electricity Regulatory Commission against the proposal of the power companies.
Towards a Greener Future
Amidst the efforts to make Uttar Pradesh energy surplus, Uttar Pradesh heads for Global Investor Summit. In latest news opening avenues for green energy, Uttar Pradesh received investments commitments in the sector of solar energy and related industries, amounting to Rs 2 lakh crore. With the “Uttar Pradesh Solar Energy Policy 2022” aiming to setup 22 gigawatts (GW) of green energy projects in the state by 2027, the state’s green energy demand will grow through rooftop solar projects and ground-mounted projects in agricultural fields. The government also plans to establish utility scale projects, super mega solar parks, distributed systems, and model solar cities. It aims setting up compressed bio gas plants, bio-coal, bio-diesel/bio-ethanol plants utilising different kinds of wastes like agri waste, waste from sugar mills, municipal waste, among others.