The Gujarat government informed the Assembly on Tuesday there has been a drastic drop in the quantum of electricity that Gujarat — a power surplus state — is selling to various states during the last few years. In 2016, Gujarat sold a paltry 38 million units of power against 5,800 million units in 2013.
In 2012, Gujarat had sold 4,573 million units of its surplus power to different states and power exchanges at an average rate of Rs 3.88 per unit.
This quantum of sale increased to 5808 million units in 2013 when every unit of power fetched an average rate of Rs 3.24, the state government informed the Gujarat Assembly in a written reply to a query raised by Congress MLA Tejashree Patel on Tuesday.
In the subsequent years, the quantum of power sold by Gujarat dipped drastically — it sold just 38 million units at an average rate of Rs 2.53 per unit (as on November 30, 2016). This included 26 million units to Chhattisgarh, 4 million units to Uttar Pradesh and 8 million units to Indian Energy Exchange (IEX).
A questionnaire sent to the Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam — a state-run umbrella company responsible for bulk purchase and sale of electricity among other functions — remained unanswered. According to state government officials, Gujarat has been a power surplus state with a total installed capacity of 25,362 MW of which 19,638 MW is conventional and 5,724 MW is renewable. Even during the summers, the peak demand is just a little over 15,000 MW. Between 2012 and 2016, the biggest beneficiary of Gujarat’s surplus power has been the two power exchanges — IEX and Power Exchange India Ltd (PXIL). Among states, Karnataka was the biggest buyer in the last five years with over 4700 million units purchased at a rate of Rs 4.10-4.50 per unit. Besides Karnataka, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Tamil Nadu purchased power from Gujarat.
“One of the reasons for the fall in Gujarat’s sale of power is the cost. These days, states are able to buy cheaper power from the power exchanges than from Gujarat,” said K K Bajaj, a veteran energy and regulatory expert.