Maharashtra is expected to see surplus power availability of 13 per cent of demand in 2017-18, according to the Central Electricity Authority’s Load Generation Balance Report for the year. The state is going to have an availability of 1,63,053 units. In comparison, the requirement is only 1,44,266 units, the report said. That translates to an excess of 13 per cent.
In 2016-17, the electricity authority had predicted that the state would see an energy surplus of 7.4 per cent. However, Maharashtra ended the year with a nil surplus or deficit.
Still, that was an improvement over the deficit of 0.3 per cent reported in 2015-16. Maharashtra is not the only state predicted to report an energy surplus in 2017-18.
Much higher surplus numbers are forecast for several other states. Sikkim for example, is supposed to have excess power availability of 128.3 per cent and Tripura 76.6 per cent.
Among larger states, Uttar Pradesh (16.5 per cent) and Gujarat (13.5 per cent) lead the list. The country as a whole is expected to see a surplus of 8.8 per cent. Notably, the CEA had predicted a surplus of 1.1 per cent in 2016-17, while the actual figure turned out to be a 0.7 per cent deficit.
While this a sharp improvement, it doesn’t necessarily mean that there won’t be power cuts on the ground.
In many states, power requirement projections aren’t keeping pace with the actual demand because state electricity boards don’t have enough money to pay for generators.
To be sure, many states have joined the UDAY scheme and cleaned up the balance sheets of their utilities.
However, UDAY also stipulates meeting certain operational milestones to get additional/priority funding in schemes of Ministry of Power and Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.