The Indian power sector is facing challenges despite the significant growth in generation capacity over the past few decades. The power situation in India is characterized by demand in excess of supply, high transmission and distribution losses, peak demand and energy shortages, low plant load factors, and decreasing availability of best quality fuel to run the power plants. However, over the last few years, Gujarat has successfully crossed all these barriers. Gujarat has become successful in securing its overall energy requirements with an installed power generation capacity of 23,927 MW (as of Aug 2012).
The institutional structure of the power sector in Gujarat
In the year 1999, the state of Gujarat established the Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Limited (GUVNL) under the Companies Act, 1956. The GUVNL was created by the Gujarat Electricity Board (GEB) as its wholly-owned subsidiary towards restructuring of the power sector for better management. GUVNL was incorporated as a Government of Gujarat Company which holds 100% of shares in the other six companies i.e. Gujarat State Electricity Corporation Limited(GSECL), Gujarat Energy Transmission Corporation Limited GETCO), Uttar Gujarat Vij Company Limited (UGVCL), Dakshin Gujarat Vij Company Limited (DGVCL), Madhya Gujarat Vij Company Limited (MGVCL) and Paschim Gujarat Vij Company Limited (PGVCL).
All six companies are 100% subsidiaries of GUVNL. The GUVNL is engaged in Supervision, Co-ordination, and facilitation of the activities of its six Subsidiary Companies.
Power supply-demand position in Gujarat
As a result of growing installed power generation capacity, the peak demand-peak deficit in the state has decreased by the Compound Annual Growth Rate of 31%.
The actual power supply position of the state of Gujarat has improved in the last seven years considerably. The power requirement and availability deficit in the state have been decreased by a CAGR of 38%. The year 2012 shows nearly zero percent deficit made Gujarat power sufficient.
Renewable energy scenario in Gujarat
Gujarat is rich in solar energy, biomass, and wind energy. It is also the leading state in terms of overall solar energy installation in India. As part of its renewable energy promotion policy, Gujarat enacted the country’s first Wind Energy policy in 1993 and become the first state with a Solar Policy in 2009. As per the Gujarat Energy Development Agency (GEDA), the state has tremendous renewable energy potential;
Table showing renewable energy potential of the state of Gujarat;
Energy Generation/Saving Potential
Solar Radiation 300 days
5.6 -6.0 kwh/m2/ day
24 million tones
900 MW of electric power could be generated to meet energy requirements of almost all villages in Gujarat.
200 lakh cattle population
(Dung available at 70% collection efficiency)
Could generate 5.6 million cubic meter of biogas per day to cater cooking gas to 2.8 million families or generate electric power equivalent to 933 MW
67 lakh hectare wasteland
Could yield 67 million tones of Biomass which can sustain power generation to the order of 15000 MW
The coastline and hilly regions
Gulf of Kachchh
Gulf of Khambhat
The economics time quoted, “Gujarat’s overall integrated renewable energy potential is estimated to be around 748.77 GW. A study conducted by TERI, Gujarat’s potential for concentrated solar power (CSP) with water availability stands at 345.71 GW, solar photovoltaic (SPV) wind hybrid excluding CSP at 240.60 GW, only SPV excluding wind and CSP at 21.36 GW, only wind excluding solar potential at 139.21 GW and biomass at 1.89 GW.” (ET, 20 April 2012).
Increasing power generation capacity in each year along with the growing share of Renewable energy in its total energy mix has made Gujarat a prominent destination for investment. Gujarat government is positively looking towards renewable energy which reduces dependency on conventional fuel. Let’s hope for a similar model in other parts of the country.
Please click here to view the list of solar power plant commissioned in Gujarat.
Shailesh is post graduate in Environment Management from Forest Research Institute (FRI) University, Dehradun, India. Presently he is working in the areas of Environmental and Renewable Energy Advisory Services. He has started GreenCleanGuide.com during his college days.