The summer of 2017 may not prove as uncomfortable for electricity consumers across India as the season in previous years, thanks to surplus power generation capacity, adequate coal stocks and improved purchasing ability of distribution companies.
Barring pockets in certain states such as Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Jammu & Kashmir which lack inter-state transmission connectivity, consumers in most other regions are likely to have sufficient electricity access.
Generators are looking forward to better utilisation of power plants, resulting in better revenues, as the Meteorological Department has predicted a warmer summer this year. Power prices in the spot market touched Rs 3 per unit in the last week of March, following a sudden spurt in temperatures due to heat wave conditions in most parts of the country.
The prices have now been settled at about Rs 2.85 per unit with increased supply from underutilised projects, but rates for southern states have risen to Rs 3.65 per unit.
A senior official in the Central Electricity Authority said states such as Bihar, Telangana, Chhattisgarh and Punjab have made affordable short-term power arrangements for the summer season at an average tariff of Rs 3.5 per unit.
Haryana, Arunachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Tamil Nadu are among the states that often buy electricity from power exchanges.