S N COLLEGE, KOLLAM
The country is facing acute power shortage. The power deficit has touched an all time high during summer 2008. The peaking shortage was 13% with an energy shortage of 9%.. During the 10th plan period, the generation capacity addition was just 21,180 MW, a mere 51% of the original target of 41,110 MW. For the 11th plan period the government has set another ambitious target of 78,577 MW but the progress during the first year of the plan (2007-08) was only 9,263 MW which was around 57% only of the target of 16,335 MW. Steep increase in liquid fuel cost, failure of rain and acute shortage of coal have made the situation worse during the current year.1 This calls of opportunities of huge investments in power generation. Unprecedented Economic Growth and Increased Demand for Power The economic and industrial growth on the other hand is on an increasing trend in the country. The union budge 2008 which projected an economic growth of 10% acknowledged the need for an unprecedented growth in power sector also. It is estimated that a 15% growth is needed in power generation capacity annually. The budget has also provided Rs.5500 crores for development of electrical network in rural areas through the Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vydyutheekaran Yojana (RGGVY) and Rs.800 crores for improvement if the network in Urban areas through the Accelerated Power Reforms and Development Programme (APDRP). Thus, in view of the guaranteed growth in demand along with the growth in electrical network to handle the load growth, electricity generation opens up a fertile field for private investments. The budget has also provided a number of soaps for encouragement of private investment in power sector. Probably electricity generation is the only industry for which a specified ROI of 14% is guaranteed by the law. Ultra Mega Power Projects of 4000 MW costing Rs.32000 crores for each project and mega power project of 1000 MW costing Rs.8000 crores each are major opportunities for the larger investments in the field. Investments in non-conventional energy field are, on the other hand, viable areas for smaller players. The Scenario in Kerala
Kerala expects a bigger growth in economy and consequently power in the years to come. While moving from the first half to the second half of this decade the peak load growth has risen from 2.l2% to 6.5%. The power shortage during 2008-09 summers has been estimated to be around 400 MW. Fresh efforts by KSEB to identify the growing needs through a new initiative, interactive planning workshops conducted district wise also endorsed this3. The failure of rain and shortage of power from central stations have worsened the scenario. Power cut, load restrictions etc have already been implemented.
However, no major generation capacity addition has taken place during the decade. KSEB efforts to enhance generation capacity may not be able to yield good results soon because the projects have larger gestation period. The major step of the 1000 mW coal based station to be set up in Baitarni in Orissa will also take at least four years to materialize. The recently announced 2500 mW thermal plant in Palakkad also will take more time. Thus smaller projects and non-conventional energy projects are fairly marketable and viable options for immediate investment by smaller operators Wind power – an attractive option
The sole source of energy for the Earth is the sun. 3 percent of solar energy received is converted into wind energy, which if tappable would be more than sufficient to meet the worldwide energy demand. It is no wonder that wind power has emerged as a major non-conventional option for power. In the national level the Centre for Wind Energy Technology (CWET) initially estimated the total potential for wind power to be around 45000 MW. But now with the advancement of technology it is claimed to be at about 65000 MW by the Indian Wind Turbine Manufacturers Association (IWTMA)....