Energy Crisis in J&K State

The renewable sources - hydro, solar, wind & geothermal - is the best option available

Dr. M. Ibrahim Wani
Srinagar, Publish Date: Dec 13 2018 10:54PM | Updated Date: Dec 13 2018 10:54PM
Energy Crisis in J&K StateRepresentational pic

The crisis in power sector have attracted attention of public at large because of ongoing long power outages (ranging from 07 to 09 hours in urban areas and up to 13 hours in rural areas). When the power demand in the state touches peak levels, and the supply-demand gap widens, serious power crisis erupt in the state. The long, and often unpredictable hours of load shedding have been the cause of extreme distress among general public, from housewives to hospital staff, factory workers to farmers, and shopkeepers to students. 

The rapidly growing economy of J&K with the changing lifestyle of people means a proportional increase in consumption of electricity; hence, the energy needs of the J&K State are ever increasing. Since, the State, historically a net energy importer, is confronting serious imminent energy crisis  as the demand grows and power procurement volatile prices are followed an upward trend; and severe cold climate cause the use of coal and fuel wood, hence resulting in deforestation and degradation of land. Thus, the State needs to initiate a sustained, long-term transition towards the greater use of renewable energy, an abundant resource base of the state whose considerable potential has yet to be tapped meaningfully. The renewable energy (hydropower, solar, wind & geothermal) is, thus, the best option available which would play an important role in meeting the pressing demand of energy in the state. In J&K state, Ladakh region has a unique position rather is one of the potential places in the world for solar energy wealth.

Renewable Energy Potential

High mountains with huge glaciers and rainfalls, the State is engulfed by Indus (traverse through Ladakh), Jhelum (flows through Kashmir), Chenab (drains through Jammu) made it(state) haven for hydropower generation. The State, although blessed with substantial water resources with the capability to generate 20,000.00Megawatts of hydropower, has been experiencing worst power crunch even after receiving a  share(royalty) from central projects. Nevertheless, state has a huge quantity of biomass by-products, which can be utilized for electricity generation by the use of solar energy, biogas, gasification technologies etc. However, taking together all the renewable technologies, the state has the potential of generating huge renewable energy, in which the estimated wind power potential stands 5311.0MW @ 50m($) or 5685.0MW @ 80m(*#), the estimated geo-thermal power potential stands 40MW, and the estimated solar power potential stands 111.05 Gigawatt-peak or 1,11, 050.00 MW(because 1 GW = 1000MW), of Ladakh alone  and 54.00 MW of Jammu & Kashmir regions, which constitutes 1,11,104.00MW of solar power potential of the J&K State. Therefore, taking together of all these resources (hydropower, Wind, Geo-thermal & Solar), the state possess 1, 36,455.00 MW or 1, 36, 829.00 MW of renewable energy potential. 

Energy Potential

On the basis of aforesaid analysis, energy sector of J&K with its huge potential would become an important source of revenue augmentation. With its investment multiplier, it can support the economic growth – has great capacity to create large scale employment of diverse kind – from the most specialized to the unskilled and hence can play a major role in the creation of additional employment opportunities. Let’s have a simple mathematics which reveals the power in energy to change State if

1KW load used for 1 hour consumes = 1Unit of energy; that is, 1000kW load (1MW) used for 1 hour = 1000 Units; which gives 1000 MW load used for 1 hour consumes = 1000×1000 = 10, 00000 Units = 1MUs. Let’s, suppose that if the state exports 1MU of energy for at least 12 hours/day and for all the 365 days of a year; i.e., 1*12*365 = 4,380 Million Units export (MUs). However, if the average rate of energy purchase from outside the state is Rs. 3.25. By applying the same rate, the export of 4,380 MUs energy @ Rs 3.25/unit, will earn the revenue of Rs. 14, 235.0Million = Rs. 1,423.5 crore.

So, if the state exports the total renewable energy potential (1, 36, 4, 55.0 MW) for at least 12 hours/day and for all the 365 days of a year @ Rs. 3.25/unit, will earn the revenue of Rs 1, 94, 243.6925 crores. Let’s have a simple mathematics:

If 1, 36, 455.0 MW load used for 1 hour consumes = 136.455 MUs; then 1, 36, 455.00 MW load used for 12 hours consumes = 136.455×12 = 1637.46 MUs. Thus, 1, 36, 455.0 MW load used for 12 hours for 365 days consumes = 1637.46×365= 5, 97, 672.9MUs. Therefore, if 5, 97672.9 MUs @ Rs. 3.25/ unit = 5, 97,672.9 ×3.25 = Rs. 1, 9, 42436.925 million = Rs 1, 94, 243.6925 crores. On the basis of aforesaid mathematical analysis, it is pertinent to say that if full potential of energy is exploited, it would take the state out of the crisis and would lessen the burden on the state exchequer. 

Dr. M. Ibrahim Wani is Post Doctorate Fellow (Energy Economics), CCAS, University of Kashmir

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