The Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana, or Saubhagya, envisages to provide electricity connections to over 40 million families in the rural and urban areas by December 2018. The allocation to the scheme has been planned at Rs.163.2 billion.
The reason behind the launch of such a scheme was to tide out the shortcomings and ineffectiveness of the Deen Dayal Upadhyay Gram Jyoti Yojana launched in July 2015, under which 78% of 18,000 villages have been electrified. A village is declared to be electrified if 10% of the households are given electricity along with public places such as schools, panchayat office, health centres, dispensaries and community centres. With a large number of households still remaining without access to electricity, the new scheme aims at ensuring the coverage of households as opposed to coverage of only villages.
Power is one of the most critical components of infrastructure crucial for the economic growth and welfare of nations. The existence and development of adequate infrastructure is essential for sustained growth of the Indian economy. India’s power sector that was marred by continuous shortages and lack of quality and steady supplies to homes and factories has seen an unprecedented turnaround in the past three years.
Today the country boasts of a situation where surplus power to the tune of 3000-4000 mw is available on real time basis at any time of the day to states and distribution companies and at affordable rates on the power exchange. India has turned around from a net importer of electricity to net exporter of electricity exporting around 5,798 Million Units to Nepal, Bangladesh and Myanmar in 2017
During the current year 2017-18 (Upto 31.08.2017), the Peak Demand is about 163.2 GW and the Installed Capacity is 329.2 GW with generation mix of Thermal (66.7%), Hydro (13.6%), Renewable (17.7%) and Nuclear (2.1%). Total installed capacity of power stations in India stood at 331 GW as on May 2017. The conventional or coal based power capacity which is the mainstay of the country’s overall power capacity has increased by 26% from 214 GW in March 2014 to 270 GW in March 2017.The Ministry of Power has set a target of 1,229.4 billion units (BU) of electricity to be generated in the financial year 2017-18, which is 50 BU’s higher than the target for 2016-17. The provisional power generation growth in the past three years is reported at 6.4% from 2014-2017.
There are three stages of electric power supply; generation, transmission and distribution. Each of these stages involves distinct production processes and work activities. The Overall generation (including generation from grid connected renewable sources) in the country has been increased from 1173.458 BU during 2014-15 to 1173.603 BU during the year 2015-16 and 1242.010 BU during 2016-17.
Distribution is the most important link in the entire power sector value chain. As the only interface between utilities and consumers, it is the cash register for the entire sector. An extensive network of Transmission lines has been developed over the years for evacuating power produced by different electricity generating stations and distributing the same to the consumers. 10,236 circuit kilometres (ckm) of transmission lines have been commissioned during 2017-18 (April-August 2017). This is 44.3% of the annual target of 23,086 ckm fixed for 2017-18. Similarly, 36,090 MVA of transformation capacity of substations has been added during 2017-18 (April- August 2017) which constitutes 66.9% of the annual target of 53,978 MVA fixed for 2017-18.
The capacity of transmission system of 220 kV and above voltage levels, in the country as on 31st August 2017 was 3,78,087 ckm of transmission lines and 7,76,855 MVA of transformation capacity of Substations. As on 31st August 2017, the total transmission capacity of the inter-regional links is 76,550 MW.
Indicating significant growth in the power transmission sector, the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) has estimated an investment of Rs 2.6 trillion till 2022. Inter-regional capacity addition during the 13th plan (2017-22) is estimated at 45,700 Mw, from the present 63,650 Mw by the plan end as mentioned by CEA in the draft. India would need 100,000 circuit km (ckm) of transmission lines and 2,00,000 MVA transformer capacity of substations at 220 kv in the 13th plan.
Growth it seems is higher in the transmission and distribution segment of the power sector as power generation is in surplus. As investment in the power transmission space remains buoyant stocks in this space would see more benefit in the near future due to the new scheme of the Central Government.