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) during 2014-15. Widespread power shortages (upto 13 % a decade ago) have gradually diminished on a national scale although shortages will prevail in some regions. Thermal powerplants generate the bulk of the electricity produced in the country. Nuclear power capacity, currently at 4 780 MWe, is expected to be augmented in the future. The power sector has seen vast reforms especially after the passage of the Electricity Act 2003 including the formation of independent regulators like CERC.
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 seven per cent of total electricity generation in 2006. 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 7 100 MW renewable energy generating capacity was added during 2015-16. Renewable energy generating capacity reach 42 849 MW in April '16. Solar capacity (incl. rooftop and off-grid) crossed 10 000 MW in late 2016.
Over 98 % of all the villages spread across India have been electrified. The present government has planned for 100 % village electrification by 2018.
|Type||Capacity (MW) as at Nov 30 2016||Generation (Billion kWh)|
|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 ca 100,000 MW at the end of 2009.
|Sundargarh||Orissa||4,000||Bid process undergoing|
|Sasan||Madhya Pradesh||3 960||Fully commissioned|
India had total hydro generating capacity of 39,291 MW as on Aug 30 2012.
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 5780 MWe and 32.5 billion kWh were generated in 2011-12. Seven reactors with a capacity to generate 5300 MWe are under various stages of construction. 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. India has the fourth largest wind power generating capacity (~7 % global market share) in the world with an installed capacity of 28 700 MW at the end of 2016, behind only China, USA and Germany. A capacity target of 60 000 MW has been set for 2022. Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Gujarat and Rajasthan have the largest installed capacities of wind power facilities in India.
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 over 5 200 MW at the end of Nov 2015. The Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission envisages 100 GW of solar power capacity in the national grid by 2022.