Sunday, February 11, 2007

Maharashtra's power woes

As widely reported in the media, Maharashtra faces a severe power crisis.

Andhra Pradesh has spare producing power but no fuel (read natural gas). So is a potential solution, the usage of expensive naphtha instead of gas? The Maharastra state electricity distribution company, Mahavitaran, is suggesting just such a solution, though it would have to pay a whopping Rs 8.30 per unit causing it to bear an additional burden of Rs 300-500 crore per month.

Though MahaVitaran, in its previous avatar as the Maharashtra State Electricity Board, has paid more for power in the past, a record Rs 35 per unit in June 2000 because of a global rocketting in naphtha prices, it might still reach a situation where it will not be able to pay employees.

The only bright side is that the Maharashtra govt understands and has made strong efforts to tackle this problem in the longer term - and yes, some of them involve using renewable energy! More on that in a later post, but regardless of the alt-e efforts, the govt will bring onboard 17 GW by 2012 - all via carbon-based sources.