Tamilnadu is the eleventh largest state in India by area and the seventh most populous state. The State of Tamilnadu is located in the southern region of India with an installed electricity generation capacity of 18,382 MW (as on 31st January 2013). The state constitutes 9% of the total installed electricity generation capacity of India which is mainly from fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas. The private sector has a 47% share in the total installed capacity, implying a healthy investment environment. Renewable power forms 52% of the total installed capacity (including small hydro).
The institutional structure of the power sector in Tamilnadu
Tamil Nadu Electricity Board came into existence in the year 1957 and remained the sole energy provider and distributor in the state till 2008. Post-2008, as per the mandatory requirements of the Electricity Act 2003, Government of Tamil Nadu has re-organized TNEB by the establishment of a holding company by the name of TNEB Ltd and two subsidiary companies, namely Tamil Nadu Transmission Corporation Ltd (TANTRANSCO) and Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation Ltd (TANGEDCO). TANTRANSCO in engaged in electricity transmission, TANGEDCO is engaged in both electricity generation and distribution and is the successor to the erstwhile Tamil Nadu Electricity Board. TANGEDCO operates four large thermal power stations – Ennore Thermal Power Station (ETPS), Mettur Thermal Power Station (MTPS), North Chennai Thermal Power Station (NCTPS), Tuticorin Thermal Power Station (TTPS).
Power Demand-Supply Position of Tamilnadu
Tamilnadu has been facing both peak and energy deficits over the last few years. Peak demand deficit in the state has increased from 1% in FY 2005-06 to 18% in 2011-12. Between 2005-06 and 2011-12, peak electricity demand grew at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8%, while peak demand met at CAGR of 5%. (See graph below)
Electricity deficit in the state has increased from 1% in 2005-06 to 11% in 2011-12. Between 2005-06 and 2011-12, electricity requirement grew at CAGR of 9%, while availability only grew at around 7% leading to increasing electricity deficits. (See graph below).
Position of Renewable energy in Tamilnadu
Tamilnadu Renewable Energy Development Agency (TEDA) administers and promotes renewable energy development in the state. Tamilnadu has the highest installed renewable energy capacity (7,979 MW by Sep 12, TEDA) in India. Renewable energy contributes 52% of the total installed capacity of the state. Wind energy is predominant in the state having a total installed capacity of 7,134 MW (By Sep 2012, TEDA) which is about 40% of the entire wind energy capacity of India. Due to the highest wind energy potential and the earlier Accelerate Depreciation (AD) benefits, the wind energy installation received a boost in Tamilnadu. Tamilnadu has the highest growth rate for the wind installation with CAGR of 15% over the period of five years from FY 2007 to FY 2012.
Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) mechanism has also helped to increase the revenue of the renewable energy projects developer in Tamilnadu. Tamil Nadu Transmission Corporation Ltd (TANTRANSCO) is the nodal agency for accrediting REC projects. As of March 2013, Tamilnadu has a total 178 (792 MW of installed capacity) grid-connected wind energy projects, one solar PV project having installed capacity of 1 MW, and 14 Biomass-based energy projects with a total installed capacity of 135 MW registered under REC mechanism (REC registry website).
In spite of 18,382 MW of installed capacity; the state of Tamilnadu is struggling to fulfill its electricity demand. The electricity demand in the State had increased but the capacity of the generating facilities had dropped due to inefficiencies resulting in shortfall. Most of the districts in Tamilnadu face power cuts lasting over six hours. Between April 2012 and February 2013, the energy and peak shortage of power in Tamil Nadu were 17.4 percent and 12.3 percent respectively of the demand (The Hindu Businessline). However, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa told the Assembly on Feb 2013 that the problem of power shortage will be overcome by the end of 2013 (The Hindu Businessline).
Let’s hope for better electricity conditions in the sate with enhanced management and encouragement to other renewable energy technologies.
References: Central Electricity Authority (CEA), Tamil Nadu Transmission Corporation Ltd (TANTRANSCO) and Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation Ltd (TANGEDCO)
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.