Live and Express

Live and Express

Hydro-power from Bhutan – a good source but only temporary relief

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In a welcome move, India has started partnering with Bhutan for getting low-cost, clean, hydro-energy. According to the reports, these plants have capacity to deliver around 6750 MW power daily by 2016-17, when every project is finished. Totally, 10 projects have been planned, out of which some have already started delivering.

Now, let’s look at the demand situation. The neighboring Indian states which have huge population density are Bihar and West Bengal. While Bihar says it is going to generate surplus energy in the coming years, it has to be seen. Currently it has an energy requirement of around 3000 MW every day. As a state, it has the largest population density, and it remains to be seen how it would tackle the increase in population vis-a-vis the supply of power.

West Bengal is claiming that it has 15 to 20 percent of surplus energy. But, industrial demand of energy, which amounts to 40% of the total requirement, has increased only 4% in the near past, because of industrial slowdown. This situation is going to change, and industry is going to pick-up across India, because of the new Central Government. In this case, additional energy will be required.

While power from Bhutan will definitely take some load off of at least two states near Bhutan, one has to look and plan for the far future.

Out of the 4 Indian states (apart from the Union territories) which have the highest population density, 3 of them are in the north-central-east region (Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal).  This corridor (starting from West Bengal to the National Capital Region of Delhi) has been having the maximum population density and also the highest railway traffic and movement of human beings (as can be verified from railways maps).  Power has been and going to be a big problem if population is not contained by policies, with focus on these three states. The other state is Kerala, which needs attention too.

Indian Ministry of Home presumably is well-aware of this situation, and hopefully taking the right strides in containing India Population.

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