I just came across this news in the Economic Times that frequent and long power outages are forcing industries based in Telangana to reconsider their proposed incremental investments, expansions and greenfield projects in this new state of India.
“The situation on the ground is more alarming since power cuts to the industry are much more than 24 hours a week in reality,” said a cement manufacturer with a large facility in Nalgonda district of Telangana.
At a time when its neighbour Andhra Pradesh is supplying uninterrupted power across sectors, Telangana has imposed 4-12 hours of daily power cuts on farmers and domestic consumers, and four-day-a month production holiday on industries. Against a demand of 161 million units (mu) a day , the Telangana government is able to supply only 137mu.
This opens up opportunities in Open Access.
But the state that is unable to buy electricity from power-surplus states because of grid connectivity issues. “We are bleeding as we are operating our units on diesel generator sets to meet the delivery schedules promised to our clients,” said the chief executive of a foundry on the outskirts of Hyderabad. “The state government power agencies are neither ensuring uninterrupted power supply nor allowing us to buy power from market through open access.”
The industry is asking for medium and long term plans from the State. The first focus is improvise the process of Open Access so that the industries can buy power from third parties.
The Open Access may also not be able to provide solution on a quick basis and across all the cities of the State, due to grid connectivity issue as highlighted in the news.
There can be a two edged sword kind of solution here:
1. Decrease energy consumption by using cleantech concepts and technologies
2. Formulate short, medium and long term solutions to improve power supply
1. Decrease Grid Power Consumption
A. Encourage use of green buildings, green products and energy efficiency technologies
B. Cutting down subsidies in electricity tariff
C. Encourage use of solar and other off-grid technologies
The current emphasis on diesel gensets for basic power needs will encourage solar installations due to lower long terms costs and reliable power supply. In industries, a hybrid solution of solar-diesel system can work as well.
2. Solutions to improve Power Supply
A. A holistic power policy from the state encompassing conventional and renewable energy needs to be on the agenda
B. Grant and improvise Open Access process in the State
C. Modernize the T&D infrastructure
It maybe be sooner than later that we will hear on solar / wind focus or policy from the Telangana State. Though, mentioned earlier, I would suggest a holistic approach to the power situation in the state rather than piece meal focus from different teams in different directions.
Nevertheless, the current situation in the State provides ample business opportunities for solar companies.