Patiala, February 5
Extreme heat in summer and cold in winter has led to increase in power consumption manifold.
The power demand from April 2022 to January 2023 has increased by 12 per cent as compared to the previous year. A total of 60,762 million units (MUs) were consumed during the period as compared to 54,237 MUs in the previous year.
Experts said intense cold wave had broken the record of past 20 years and as a result, crops needed more water for irrigation.
“Consumers used more electrical appliances to get respite from the biting cold conditions. Even production of power from solar rooftops reduced,” they said.
Power Minister Harbhajan Singh ETO confirmed that despite 12 per cent rise in power demand, Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) managed to meet the demand.
“The power rates have gone up this year, ranging from Rs 5.17 to Rs 10.06 per unit at the energy exchange as compared to Rs 2.94 to Rs 5.06 in 2021,” said the minister.
A senior PSPCL official privy to the developments said, “Climate change is being witnessed across the globe. This year, we barely managed. A lot needs to be done to save the state from power crisis.”
“Apart from making power arrangements from outside the state, PSPCL has also increased its own thermal and hydel generation. Thermal plants at Ropar and Lehra Mohabbat increased generation by 128 per cent from last year (from 2,736 MUs to 6,229 MUs). Similarly, hydro power generation from PSPCL’s own projects and BBMB increased by 21 per cent,” the minister added.
Moreover, banking of power with other states has also increased significantly. PSPCL has increased its banking export by 83 per cent (3,487 MUs vs 1,917 MUs) due to which, power availability to PSPCL under banking has also increased by 152 per cent from the last year (5,945 MUs vs 2,361MUs).
The minister said due to increase in availability of power from internal resources and banking, PSPCL was able to reduce its short term and costly power purchase through exchanges by 39 per cent (5,935 MUs vs 9,741 MUs). “PSPCL has sold eight times more surplus power in exchanges in comparison to the last year,” claimed the minister, adding that they were making arrangements for the kharif season.
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