May 12, 2007

Power hungry

The power crisis in the country needs no elaboration. Reams and reams have been written about how to secure funding to bridge the gap between demand and supply. And with investment in the sector people are looking to build more and more plants. After building them they will scurry to ensure that there is a constant supply of fuel to run these plants. NTPC is already to trade its power plant building expertise for a guaranteed supply of fuel from Nigeria. Thus after the mad rush to get investment, there will be another race to get fuel. Then there will be another race to ensure that we are best in the world and it will go on and on.

Rather I'm thinking why nobody has looked at the option to reduce Transmission and Distribution (T&D) Losses which at present hover at 40-50%. Are these because of old equipment? Or are these losses due to pilferage? If the reason is due to the former I would like to see investment going into the upgradation of existing infrastructure which will almost double our current power supply. Even if it is due to pilferage, investments to reduce it will result in transmission companies significantly increasing their revenues and consequently profits which would then enable them to fund new projects themselves.

Either ways there are huge gains to be made by upgrading the current infrastructure rather than diverting investment to new projects. I hope that somebody sees the merit in it.

No comments: