Power for All
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India’s Energy Challenges:
(Related Articles: Energy Sector: The Challenge of Power for All, Page No.-7, by Anil Razdan & India’s Energy Challenges & Sustainable Development, Page No.-16 by Ritu Mathur)
• India faces pressure to try and fulfill the aspirations of growing economy within constrained environmental space.
• Faces pressure of having to provide higher levels and better qualities of energy, infrastructure and services to its people & fulfill aspirations of growing economy.
• Further constraints of land, water, material resource availability.
• Implications on environment and human health.
• Import of coal as major energy need is dependent on coal.
• Nuclear and Hydroelectric power plant puts a lot of financial and environmental burden.
• Power plants have long gestation period.
• Rural electrification.
• 24X7 power supply and governments assurance of Power for All by 2022.
• Rehabilitation of Tribals.
• Lack of technology to exploit the Thorium reserves and other offshore reserves.
• Lack of investment by public and private sector in Renewable energy sector.
• Pressure of international community to reduce the dependence on fossils and decrease pollution levels.
• Fragile Middle East and India’s complete dependence on it for POL products.
• Global slowdown and its effect on India’s manufacturing sector.
(Related Article: Rural Electrification: A Development Challenge, Page no.-23, by Shirish S Garud, Prerna Sharma)
According to Census 2011, 80% population lives in rural areas.
Rural electrification has 5 major facets:
• Setting up of rural electricity infrastructure.
• Providing connectivity to households.
• Adequate supply of desired quality of power.
• Supply of electricity at affordable rates.
• Providing clean, environmentally benign & sustainable power in efficient way.
India has extended the electricity grid to around 98% of inhabited village.
According to Government data April 2016, 58.5 million village households lack access.
Un-electrified Households –
The population without electricity access in India can be categorized into three groups of consumers:
• Those residing in remote inaccessible villages where extending the central grid may be technically-economically infeasible
• Those residing in unconnected hamlets of grid connected villages
• Non-electrified households in villages where the grid has reached.
Rural Electric Corporation:
• It was established in 1969 and its main objective was to finance and promote rural electrification all over the country
• It provides loan assistance to State electricity boards and state power utilities, equipment manufacturers and so on
• It manages rural electrification programmes of Ministry of Power
Rural electrification policy, 2005 aimed at:
• Providing electricity to all rural households by 2009
• Quality and reliable power supply at reasonable rates and minimum lifeline consumption of 1 unit per household per day as merit good by 2012
Deendayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY)
Aim is to:
• Provide 24 x 7 power to all by 2019.
• To improve power supply in rural households as well as reduction of the peak loads.
Scope of the programme includes:
• Separation of agriculture and non-agriculture feeders
• Strengthening and augmentation of sub transmission and distribution infrastructure in rural areas, including metering at distribution transformers, feeders and consumers
• Specifically, the major components of DDUGJY are feeder separation and power for all by 2019.
Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana (UDAY)
• To restructure the state owned discoms to operate, currently reeling under a mountain of debt and mounting operational losses every year
• The bulk of the restructuring focus has been around the financial plan with the state governments to take over their DISCOM’s debts in a pre-defined fashion-50% of the debt outstanding as of September 2015 by the last quarter of the financial year 2015-16 and 25% by June 2016.
• It empowers the DISCOMS with the opportunity to breakeven in the next 2-3 years through four initiatives.
• Improving operational efficiencies of DISCOMs
• Reduction of cost of power
• Reduction in interest cost of DISCOMs
• Enforcing financial discipline on DISCOMs through alignment with state finances
• Ten states have signed the agreements(Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, J&K, Jharkhand, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, UP, Uttrakhand)
Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for all (UJALA)
• To promote efficient lighting, enhance awareness on using efficient equipment which reduce electricity bills and help preserve environment.
• It was launched as LED based “Domestic Efficient Lighting Programme (DELP)
• Urges the people to use LED bulbs in place of incandescent bulbs, tube lights and CFL bulbs
• Currently scheme is on-going in 9 states HP, UP, Uttarakhand, Delhi, Rajastha, Maharashtra, Karnataka, AP, and Jharkhand.
• grid extension based rural electrification promoted through DDUGJY & others faced major hurdles which include high cost of grid extension and low recovery due to highly subsidized tariff.
• Low level of tariff collection resulting in negative return.
• Supply rationing due to non availability of power and high operation and maintenance costs.
• Creation of income generation activities to boost rural economy.
• Focus on sustainable and renewable resources.
(Related Article: Perception Management: A big challenge in the growth of Nuclear power, Page no.-29 by S Banerjee)
The rising aspirations and needs of rising population has forced countries to look for new ways of energy of which nuclear energy is viable option but rising environment concerns and irreversible changes due to nuclear plants is issue of great concern.
Nuclear energy has given us viable energy option due to following:
• Safe and reliable energy source which has a minimum carbon footprint and steady and uninterrupted supply makes it ideally suitable.
• Associated with very high energy density and compactness of is energy source translates into easy transportation of fuel and smooth operation of large size power plants capable of supplying uninterrupted electricity to large metropolis and high consuming industries.
• With steady and significant rise of fossil fuel price.
• Countries who had rapidly grown their nuclear capability have demonstrated very impressive factor and reliable and safe operation.
• Can provide sustainable energy for the world for several centuries to come.
Concerns associated with nuclear energy:
• Health concerns
• Affects agriculture and fishing in the surrounding due to high temperature or high radiation.
• Viable only through higher government subsidies
• Nuclear weapons
• Nuclear reactors and disasters
• Radioactive waste
• Is it necessary to have nuclear power? Why not prefer renewable sources?
• Are reactors safe under earthquakes, floods, and tsunami?
• How to manage damage if a severe accident happens?
• Trust deficits between public and nuclear authorities.
Impact of Nuclear Power plant operation on thermal ecology, biodiversity & Agriculture:
• Power plant cannot consume whole of the energy so some energy is released in surroundings.
• The reject heat is deposited either in the water body near or in atmosphere through cooling tower.
• Strict guidelines have to be laid down to govern heat dissipation.
• Since fishes are sensitive to thermal fluctuation, it is ensured that the temperature in the outfall regions does not exceed the tolerance limit.
Role of Nuclear energy in Energy mix:
• India currently generates 5.5 GW of its total electricity from Nuclear energy
• Given the positive correlation between per capita electricity consumption and human development, India needs to drastically increase its electricity generation
• Maximum of energy comes from coal based plants but due to fossil over exploitation and looking at sustainable future maximum contribution has to come from nuclear energy.
• Nuclear provides a clear advantage over other sources of conventional and non-conventional sources of energy
Safety of Nuclear power:
• Norms and standards that are maintained in nuclear installations are of the highest standards across the globe
• India has to assess the cost benefit ratio of nuclear energy and at the same time focus on maintaining the highest standards when it comes to Nuclear safety
• This has been time and again demonstrated earlier, when the Kalpakkam reactor and the Kakrapar reactor withstood the might of the nature during 2004 Tsunami and 2001 Earthquake respectively
Management of Long-lived Radioactive waste:
• The waste management plants in India convert high active waste into a glassy form which is stored in multi-barrier interim engineered storage facilities
` Long term energy security
• India is abundantly blessed with sunlight and vast reserves of Thorium
• Utilizing thorium for electricity generation has been temporarily out of our reach
• With India’s entry to international nuclear cooperation, the opportunity for a rapid growth in installed capacity has opened up and this will certainly help in accumulating fissile inventory at faster rate.
Shale gas in India:
(Related Article: Shale gas in India: Challenges and prospects, page no.- 55, by Anil kumar Jain, Rajnath Ram)
India is the 3rd largest consumer of energy in world after China & Russia.
High reliance on imported energy threatens fiscal stability given volatile energy prices & also adversely on energy security.
Share of shale gas is projected to reach 25% in global energy mix.
Global trends in unconventional Gas sources:
Unconventional gas sources are ones which exist in such reservoirs, that their production greater effort than other kind of sources.
The following have been categorized as unconventional ones:
• Coal bed methane (CBM)
• Coal mine methane (CMM)
• Shale gas
• Tight gas
With global demand to go up by 50% between 2010-35 & 1/3 rd of above in year 2035 is likely to come from unconventional sources.
Rapid rise in USA & this has made USA net exporter of gas.
3 factors have come together in recent years to make shale gas a economically viable:
• Technological advances in horizontal drilling.
• Hydraulic fracturing.
• Increase in natural gas prices in global market.
• Water contamination
• Water shortage
• Land availability
• Fear of earthquakes
• Lack of technology to exploit resources
• Environmental factors.
Shale Gas Reserves in India:
• Cambay, Krishna-Godavari, Cauvery, Damodar Valley, Upper Assam, Pranhita Godavari, Rajasthan & Vindhyan basin.
Mitigating Shale Gas Challenge:
• Specific to this resource due to specialized technological inventions viz hydraulic fracturing.
• Resource assessment; Regulatory & envt. Framework.
• Availability of land and water
What Govt. needs to do:
• Access scientific and credible knowledge base before widely spreading shale gas development.
• Special attention to environmental safeguard issues.
Renewable Energy future for India:
(Related Article: A Renewable Energy Future for India, page no.- 51, by Chandra Bhushan)
• India is facing both environmental crisis & developmental crisis.
• India suffers from chronic energy poverty. About 300 million have no electricity.
• About 700 million Indian’s use Biomass such as dung, agriculture waste & firewood as primary resource for cooking.
• Coal(3rd largest producer after China & USA); coal meets 50% of current commercial energy needs & generates more than70% of electricity.
• Emissions from coal based power plants:
a) 60% particulate
b) 45-50% SO2
c) 30% NOx
d) More than 80% of mercury emission
e) 70% of total freshwater withdrawal by industrial sector
• Main Challenge is that how to meet energy requirements without compromising the ecology of country.
Converging Energy & Environment Security:
• India’s dependence on imported fossil fuel is increasing at an alarming rate.
• Reducing costs of renewable energy, especially solar and wind power- In the last 5 years, the cost of solar energy has come down by two-third.
• Electricity is practically used for all applications.
• Urgency of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. India has committed to have 40% of electricity from non fossil fuel resources.
• Increasing global recognition to supply clean energy to all.
These 5 converging trends demand that we develop an energy strategy that is based on electricity as prime mover.
• Present idea of electricity access in India has been centralized generation & grid based distribution. Future is decentralized and distributed one.
• Central vision of decentralized & distributed electricity future is increased role of small scale electricity generator who may be households, business & mini-gold.
• Role of grid, therefore would change from main supplier to one platform where surplus electricity between millions of generators & consumers would be traded.
• If method is followed, this would revolutionize, the way power is produced & consumed in India. Millions of households would produce & consume their own electricity.
Challenges of Power for All:
(Related Articles: Power for all by 2019: No longer a distant dream, page no.-69, by Anupma Airy & Energy Sector: The challenge of power for all, page no.- 7, by Anil Razdan)
• Most energy projects are capital intensive, have long gestation period & financial pay back periods.
• There has been dramatic fall in prices of new renewable solar energy in recent years but the demand is not growing at expected pace, leaving large unutilized capacity.
• Unless the distribution function, within jurisdiction of respective states, is able to pay the transmission & generation entities, in central, state & private sector there would be cash flow problems, throwing stress in distress.
• It takes 4-5 years for coal based thermal plant to fructify, 8-10 years for large hydroelectric power plant to be commissioned.
• Distribution segment of electricity sector is one in need of major financial and technical overhaul.
• Problem in state owned Discoms.
• Keeping in view its national commitments at COP21 in PARIS, India has promised to reduce its carbon intensity in Energy by 33% compared to 2005 levels.
• Distribution function should change
• Government schemes like UDAY, DDUGJY etc.
• Creation of smart Grids.
• Transparent allocation of coal blocks.
• For grid integration, smart grids would be most appropriate
• Multi Array panels with solar tracking devices would be strongly recommended.
• Utilization of vast natural renewable resources and proper investments by public and private sector in it.