Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Get ready for summer shock

Get ready for summer shock
Deccan Herald

If power consumers are shocked over the unscheduled loadshedding this winter in several areas, the worse is in store for the summer months...

If power consumers are shocked over the unscheduled loadshedding this winter in several areas, the worse is in store for the summer months.

According to a projection by KPTCL, the daily power consumption for the summer months is expected to touch an all-time high of about 140 million units – an increase of nearly 15 MUs over the previous summer’s consumption.

This figure is likely to be reached in February-March, which marks the peak of summer in terms of power supply.

This has caused concern among power officials as the previous summer’s peak consumption was only about 126 MUs.

Pointing out that the average daily consumption in the State was around 90-95 MUs, sources noted that it would be difficult to manage even a small increase in power supply during summer months. Already, it has become difficult for the State to get additional power as the demand for power has shot up in all the southern states.

KPTCL feels heat

KPTCL felt the heat recently when it had called for tenders seeking supply of power for a short duration. All the bidders had quoted a high price of about Rs 6 per unit against the State’s average power purchase price of Rs 2.65 per unit, sources said.

Given this scenario, the summer months are expected to witness a tough time including loadshedding. As it is, unscheduled loadshedding has been enforced in most of the areas of the State, barring Bangalore, as the demand for power has exceeded 120 million units.

The main reason for the present increase as well as the projected increase is said to be the prolonged dry spell in various parts of the State. This has resulted in excessive use of irrigation pumpsets to draw groundwater for protecting standing crops. The State has about 15 lakh IP sets and their consumption accounts for 26-30 per cent of the consumption.

Meanwhile, the KPTCL has instructed its staff to take precautionary measures in Bangalore to prevent the breakdown of the overloaded transmission network. Bangalore city, which was known for the quality power supply, is now witnessing frequent interruptions in power supply as the power network is overloaded.

The increasing number of houses and commercial establishments and the failure in the earlier years to upgrade the system in accordance with projected growth of the city are said to be the reasons for overloading. Though system upgrading works have been taken up, they are not likely to be completed before three months.

Grim scenario

* 140 MUs projected summer consumption

* 15 MUs more than last summer’s peak consumption

* Bangalore hit by overload

* Reason for increasing consumption: Excessive use by farmers to draw water for irrigation


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