In Focus: India’s Energy Consumption 0

India’s Central Statistics Office has published their Energy Statistics 2012 document, a provisional assessment of the state of play for the country. It’s interesting, to say the least.

They lead off with an energy map of nuclear power generation–and India has 52 plants with 6,780 MW capacity either up and running or under construction. Nuclear power capacity grew 4.8% in 2011.

When the report covers renewable energy–wind and solar–it concentrates on potential, referring to an estimated wind power potential of 49132 MW (55%), SHP (small-hydro power) potential of 15,385 MW (17%), Biomass power potential of 17,538 MW(20%) and 5000 MW (6%) from bagasse-based cogeneration in sugar mills. That’s because actual renewable production is fairly low. India is 10th in the world for solar, but it amounts to about 600 MW installed last year. When it comes to current capacity, “The total installed capacity of grid interactive renewable power, which was 16817 MW as on 31.03.2010  had gone up to 19971 MW as on 31.03.2011 indicating growth of 18.75% during the period. Out of the total installed generation capacity of renewable power as on 31-03-2011, wind power accounted for about 71%, followed by small hydro power (15.2%) and Biomass power (13.3%).

For electricity generation, the report says, “The total installed capacity for electricity generation in the country has increased from 16,271 MW as on 31.03.1971 to 206,526 MW as on 31.03.2011, registering a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.4% . There has been an increase in generating capacity of 18654 MW over the last one year, which is 10% more than the capacity of last year.” (My bold.)

The sad tale of the tape is next–India dreams of nuclear and renewables, but their feet are firmly planted in coal. “At the end of March 2011, thermal power plants accounted for an overwhelming 64% of the total installed capacity in the country, with an installed capacity of 131.2 thousand MW. Hydro power plants come next with an installed capacity of 37.6 thousand MW, accounting for 18.2% of the total installed Capacity. Besides, non-utilities accounted for 15.9% (32.9 Thousand MW) of the total installed generation capacity. The share of Nuclear energy was only 2.31% (4.78 MW).”

What the Report Didn’t Cover

India is the 5th largest energy consumer in the world and its people wish mightily that it ranked higher. Their energy consumption in 2009 was 21.7 quads, not nearly enough for their huge (and growing) population. Their per capita energy consumption is on a par with Swaziland.

India imports about 75% of its oil. In fact, one-third of all India’s imports consist of oil. That is expected to rise to 80%, as energy consumption rises. India’s need to import gas is not as bad, but it is also rising–from 25% of their needs to half by 2015, according to the Financial Times.

Oh–by the way. That link to India reporting 75% of its oil? The title of the article is “India’s Energy Consumption Set to Double by 2031.” So I’m not the only one…

And coal? Readers will remember that I am concerned about coal powering the rise of the developing world. Well, India has a lot of coal to burn–”Coal production in the country during the year 2010-11 was 533 million tonnes (MTs) as compared to 532 MTs during 2009-10, registering a growth of 0.12%. Considering the trend of production from 1970-71 to 2010-11, it is observed that coal production in India was about 73 MTs during 1970-71, which increased to 533 MTs during 2010-11, with a CAGR of 5%.”

And India has more where that came from–”India has a good reserve of coal and lignite. As on 31.03.11 the estimated reserves of coal was around 286 billion tones, an addition of 9 billion over the last year,” according to India’s Energy Statistics 2012. Their reserves actually grew 3%, primarily because India’s bureaucracy and corruption make it very hard to get coal out of the ground. But that’s okay, I guess. Because India’s imports of coal grew by 31% this year… And just to cheer you all up, “India’s coal imports are likely to touch a whopping 185 million tonnes (MT) by 2017, almost 20% of the international dry-fuel trade amid widening demand-supply deficit, according to Planning Commission.”

Original Article on 3000 Quads

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