India is the third largest electricity producing nation in the world. Power generation has grown over 100 fold since independence to 1 272 TWh (incl. captive power generation) in 2014-15. Widespread power shortages (upto 13 % a decade ago) have gradually diminished on a national scale although shortages do exist in some regions. Thermal powerplants generate the bulk of the electricity produced in the country. Nuclear power capacity, currently at 6 780 MWe, is expected to be augmented by 6700 MW by 2022 in addition to 7000 MW of newly planned nuclear plants. The power sector has seen vast reforms especially after the passage of the Electricity Act 2003 including the formation of independent regulators like CERC. India has made a commitment at COP21 to increase the renewable energy based power capacity to 40 per cent by 2030.
Power Grid Corp. (PGCIL) operates the largest (132 000 circuit kms as on Nov 30 '16) grid sytems in the world and transmits over half of the total power generated (excl. captive) in India. India's captive power plants generated 68.2 bn kWh of electricity during 2003-04. Large captive power users include the aluminium, petrochemical and iron and steel industrial sectors.
17 825 MW of new power capacity was added to the grid in 2013-14. Renewable sources of energy, mainly wind and small hydro, contributed around nine per cent of total electricity generation in 2016-17. India has set an ambitious target of a total of 175 000 MW of renewable capacity by 2022 to combat global climate warming and its ill effects. A total of 14 140 MW renewable energy generating capacity was added in fiscal year 2016-17 compared to 7 655 MW of thermal (mainly coal fired) based generating capacity. Renewable energy generating capacity topped 50 000 at the end of 2016/17. Solar capacity (incl. rooftop and off-grid) increased to 12 289 MW at the end of March 2017. Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Telangana and Gujarat have the largest installed capacity among the states of India. Wind power capacity was enhanced by 5 400 MW in 2016/17.
Over 98 % of all the villages spread across India have been electrified although on a household level some states in India still have a low percentage of electrified households. The present government has planned for 100 % village electrification by 2018.
|Type||Capacity (MW) as at May 31 2017||Generation (Billion kWh) 2016-17|
|Renewables||57 260 (Mar 31 2017)||65.8 (2015-16)|
|Captive (>1 MW)||44 046 (Mar 2015)||166 (2014-15)|
|¹ Captive (2014-15) includes 130.68 bn KWh steam, 11.52 bn KWh diesel, 24.08 bn KWh gas turbine and 0.15 bn KWh hydro generated power.|
India had a thermal generating capacity of 220 570 MW at the end of Apr 2017.
|Sundargarh||Orissa||4,000||Bid process undergoing|
|Sasan||Madhya Pradesh||3 960||Fully commissioned|
India had total hydro generating capacity of 44 594 at the end of Apr 2017.
Nuclear power generates less than 3 per cent of India's total electricity consumption. NPCIL, a public sector unit, operates 20 reactors at six nuclear plant sites across India. The total nuclear power capacity amounts to 6780 MWe and approx. 37.7 billion kWh were generated in 2016-17. Four reactors with a capacity to generate 2 800 MWe are under construction. A total 15 000 MW of nuclear electricity capacity by 2024 has been planned. BHAVINI is constructing a 500 MWe Fast Breeder Reactor at Kalpakkam. Fast breeder technology uses spent fuel of plutonium and uranium from the Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors (PHWR, elsewhere known as CANDU) of the the other NPCIL plants. Uranium is mined by the Uranium Corp. of India Ltd. in Jaduguda, Jharkhand. The Nuclear Fuel Complex at Hyderabad fabricates the required nuclear fuel assemblies for the eventual generation of electricity. Thorium, due to large reserves in India, is also used used as nuclear fuel. New nuclear power plant clusters are plannedin collaboration with potential nuclear vendors such as Areva NP, GE-Hitachi, Westinghouse Electric and Atomstroyexport.
|Nuclear Power Plants Under Construction|
|¹ Megawatts of electrical output|
The NRSE (New and Renewable Sources of Energy) sector has been targeted to provide 175 GW of installed capacity by 2022 out of which 60 GW will be wind powered. India has the fourth largest wind power generating capacity (ca 6.6 % global market share in 2016) in the world with an installed capacity of 32 288 MW in April 2017, behind only China, USA and Germany. Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Gujarat and Rajasthan have the largest installed wind power capacity in India. Over 29 000 wind tower turbines had been installed by 2016 and the wind power industry provides employment to some 400 000 people. Total wind power potential in India is around 300 GW at 100 above ground level.
Other renewable sources of energy include small hydro projects (incl. tidal), solar, biomass gas, Biomass power and urban industrial waster power. The total generating capacity (incl. wind power and off-grid/captive power) amounted to 43 GW at the end of March 2016 accounting for 14 % of total capacity. Although wind energy holds a lion's share in the production of electricity among renewable sources of energy, bio-based power (agro residues & plantations), bagasse (sugar cane fibre residue) cogeneration and small hydro power plants (upto 25 MW) feed substantial amounts of electricity into the power grid. Solar energy based projects are being taken up at a rapidly increasing pace with a total generating capacity of 12 289 MW at the end of Mar 2017 which is projected to increase to nearly 19 000 MW by year-end. India is set to become in 2017 the third largest solar power market in the world. The Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission envisages 100 GW of solar power capacity in the national grid by 2022.