• Electrical India
  • Feb 5, 2018

Power Scenario in Kerala

With respect to installed capacity, Kerala stands at 16th position with approximately 1.66% of the total in the country. The per capita consumption of power in Kerala has been 549 units which is much lower than the National Average of 1010 units as observed during FY 2014-15…

- Bhavnesh Jaint


 Kerala is the 22nd largest state with an area of 38,863 km2 and the 13th largest by population (as per census 2011) with total population of 33,406,061 (16,027,412 male and 17,378,649 female). It is bordered by Karnataka to the north and north east, Tamil Nadu to the east and south, and the sea to the west with Thiruvananthapuram as its capital. Kerala has coastline of 595 kilometres and forest area of 9,400 km2, which is 24% of its geographical area. Kerala boasts to have highest Human Development Index (HDI) in the country being 0.79 according to the Human Development Report (2011). In Kerala, highest literacy rate; 93.91%, highest life expectancy; 77 years and the highest sex ratio; 1,084 women per 1000 men.

The brief profile of the Kerala state is given in table 1.

  With respect to installed capacity, Kerala stands at 16th position with approximately 1.66% of the total in the country. The per capita consumption of power in Kerala has been 549 units which is much lower than the National Average of 1010 units as observed during FY 2014-15
Kerala’s consumption is predominantly domestic, which accounts for 49% of the total consumption, which is only 22% nation-wide. Industrial consumption is only 30% in Kerala, while it is 45% at the national level.

  Kerala’s per capita electricity consumption is lower than national average; however, the state ensures 24 hours supply to all segments of consumers. The state should make endeavours to bring the remaining unconnected households under electrification and should step up initiatives for wider and deeper implementation of DSM and renewable energy initiatives in the state.

Connecting the Unconnected Areas

  As per census 2011 data, there were about 77.16 lakhs households in the state, out of which 40.95 lakhs were in rural areas and balance 36.21 lakhs were in urban areas. Out of 40.95 lakhs rural households, 37.72 lakhs (92.1%) were electrified and balance 3.23 lakhs (7.9 %) were un-electrified. In urban areas, out of total of 36.21 lakhs households, 35.13 lakhs (97.01%) were electrified and balance 1.08 lakhs (2.99 %) were un-electrified. Kerala registers commendable track record in terms of Electrification with around 94.41% households as electrified and the state has planned to all unconnected households to electrify completely in time bound manner by FY 2016-17 under the DDUGJY/ IPDS scheme of GoI and through off-grid solutions.

Demand & Supply

  As per the present power supply position in the state, Kerala has about 3.35% peak power shortage & 0.52% energy shortage during FY 2014-15. The state would see an increase in peak demand from 3,727 MW at present (FY 2014-15) to 4,821 MW in FY 2018-19 with corresponding increase in energy requirement from 22,040 MU in FY 2014-15 to 29,620 MU in FY 2018-19.

  The available capacity (installed as well as allocated share) for the state as on 31st March 2015 was 4412.87 MW. In order to meet the estimated increased demand for providing 24x7 power supply in the state, the state has already planned additional capacity availability of 2332.75 MW by FY 2018-19 through own generating stations, renewable energy sources, central generating stations and long-term medium term PPAs in a phased manner. Out of this, 822.40 MW shall be added through non-conventional energy sources and balance 1510.35 MW through conventional sources. The state will have a surplus of about 10.4% to 2.43% in terms of peak demand during the period FY 2015-16 to FY 2018-19. During the same period, the state will also have availability of surplus energy in the range of 1.37% to 3.39% except during FY 2015-16 in which the state will have energy deficit of about 4.91%. Therefore, the Kerala state will remain as power surplus state during the entire study period (i.e. from FY 2016-17 to FY 2018-19) having surplus in both peak power and energy availability. As the state generation is heavily dependent on hydro & RES sources (about 38.51% to 47.25% during the study period), the above surplus scenario may change slightly on year to year basis depending upon monsoon scenario in the state.

  In poor monsoon years, the availability of energy from Hydro Power Plants shall also be poor. In order to mitigate the above situation, Government of Kerala (GoK) would have to effectively plan through comprehensive power procurement initiatives on short term basis and look for procurement of power either through competitive bidding or through other sources. Kerala is bestowed with huge hydro power potential by way of plentiful of rain and many rivers. However, out of the estimated hydel potential of about 6000 MW, only about 2040 MW have been harnessed so far in the state due to denial of environmental and forest clearances. MOE&F should consider the need to explore the possibilities of granting various clearances or approvals etc. to the hydro projects in the State. State’s experiment with liquid fuel /naphtha based stations have not yielded desired results as the installed capacity of these stations remained underutilized due to the prohibitive fuel costs. Around 750 MW of power is not being scheduled to meet the power requirement of the state. There is an urgent need for converting these liquid fuel / naphtha based stations into natural gas based station. Government of Kerala (GoK) expects that domestic gas at administered price shall be provided by GoI to meet minimum 60% of the natural gas requirement for the projects.
Generation plan: The generation plan will ensure adequate capacity addition planning & tie ups for power from various sources at affordable price to meet the projected increase in power demand for future.

  Future plan for augmentation of generation capacity / availability of power: As per generation plan of State of Kerala, capacity of around 2332.75 MW is expected to be added by FY 2018-19 (from new projects as well as from allocation from Central Sector and IPP Projects). Out of this, 822.40 MW shall be added through non-conventional energy sources and balance 1510.35 MW through conventional sources. As such the total available capacity by FY 2018-19 is expected to be 6745.62 MW (5751.78 MW– conventional and 993.84 MW –Renewable). Yearwise Summary of Generation Capacity /availability of power upto FY 2018-19.

  Issues Regarding Generation & Fuel availability Plan: Kerala is bestowed with huge hydro power potential by way of plentiful of rain and many rivers. As if acted upon by nature’s balancing mechanism, the state is devoid of any fossil fuel reserves. It is estimated that the vast hydro power potential can take care of the power needs of the state for many decades to come. However, out of the estimated hydel potential of about 6000 MW, Kerala could harness only about 2040 MW so far. Only two major projects with substantial storage capacity viz. Idukki (780 MW) and Sabarigiri (300 MW) could be accomplished so far. Some of the major hydroelectric power projects, which were denied environmental clearance, are 240MW plant each at Silent Valley & Pooyamkutty, 100 MW Pathrakkadavu and 163 MW Athirappally. All the proposed hydro power projects in Kerala can come up only in the Western Ghats, which is declared as a biodiversity hotspot by IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature).

  Transmission network: The state is well served by a network of interstate transmission lines at 400 kV, 220 kV levels and the existing ISTS transmission system capacity is adequate for meeting the present power requirement. The existing combined transformation capacity of PGCIL & KSEBL at 400/220 kV level is 3150 MVA and the same shall be increased to 6355 MVA by FY 2018-19. Keeping in view the power evacuation of about 3200 MW by FY 2018-19 at 220 kV and below level within the state, the capacity addition plan as envisaged is adequate to meet the projected power demand of 4821 MW by FY 2018-19.

  Distribution network: KSEBL distributes electricity in the state of Kerala except in the Thrissur Municipal Corporation and Munnar (Kannan Devan Hills). For operational conveniences the distribution wing is divided into three zones namely South, Central and North.

Zone Wise Distribution

  To provide 24x7 quality & reliable power to the consumers in the state, KSEBL have formulated a plan for augmentation of distribution system in rural areas and urban areas. The estimated cost is ` 1720.90 crore in DDUGJY against which DPR cost approved by Monitoring Committee is `. 485.37 crore. The tentative project cost for urban areas is about ` 597.45 crore under IPDS Scheme. The works of feeder separation, establishment of new PSS, augmentation of existing PSS, new 66 & 11 kV lines, LT lines & metering are proposed to be implemented in the state by FY 2018-19.

  Renewable energy status and plan: Kerala has good potential for promotion and development of renewable and non-conventional energy projects, particularly, solar, wind, small hydro projects (SHP) and biomass. State has already issued liberal policies for promotion of renewable energy generation in the state.

  The potential of generation of power through renewable energy sources in Kerala state is estimated to be about 8,731 MW.

  Ongoing scheme of MNRE in which domestic lighting system (DLS) / home lighting system (HLS- Model-II) are being provided to the beneficiaries in rural and urban areas having one solar module of 24W, 2 LEDs each of 9 W and one battery of 12V, 12Ah capacity. This scheme is having a provision of 30% subsidy from MNRE and balance 70% to be borne by the state & beneficiary as per the state policy.


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