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6.121 In all the new projects, an environmental management plan is now an integral part of the minning Feasibility Report/Project Report.
6.122 Conservation and development: In relation to the limited resources of coking coal and none too large resources of non-coking coal and the projected rapid growth of the coal industry in the longer perspective, there is an urgent need to conserve the coal resources through:
(a) improvement in recoveries in mining by appropriate choice of mining technologies, and stowing by inert material; (b) reorganisation and reconstruction of mines to minimise losses of coal in barriers; (c) recovery of coal standing in pillars as well as control of mine fires to release coal for exploitation; (d) introduction of modern methods of beneficiation and fuller utilisation of the different fractions; (e) agglomeration of coal fines for, metallurgical and non-metallurgical uses; (f) appropriate modifications in the techniques and technologies currently used by the major consumers like power, steel, cement etc. so as to utilise with benefit the coking and non-coking coals with less stringent quality specifications; and (g) adoption of underground gasification technology to win the coal seams which are both difficult to mine and have adverse economics.
6.123 An area which requires urgent consideration is the need to promote the use of coal in industry and household sectors so as to conserve oil. A specific area which is of special importance is the promotion of soft coke, particularly in rural and urban areas close to collieries, and smokeless fuel to substitute for fuelwood and kerosene. This will succeed if the prices of soft coke and smokeless fuel are competitive. Subsidy in this regard would be justified.
6.124 Coal conservation by underground coal gasification: Underground coal gasification, a high technology operation, is proposed to be experimented for the first time in the country as a measure of conservation and development of the coal reserves locked up in pillars in shallow abandoned underground mines in the eastern region and the large deep-seated reserves in north Gujarat located in the course of oil exploration. The 'in-situ' north Gujarat reserves which are estimated at 63 billion tonnes occur at a depth of 800 to 1700 metres which is beyond the limits of conventional methods of mining in India. While the tests and experiments on the underground gasification of the coal at shallow depths would be conducted under the aegis of the Department of Coal, similar studies on the north Gujarat deposits would be initiated by the ONGC at a test site under selection at Mehsana.
6.125 Coal transportation by slurry pipelines: Movement by rail has been the principal mode of transport of coal from mines to consumers. With increasing load and geographical restrictions of coal deposits, constraints of rail movement have been increasingly felt. Keeping in view a long-term solution for movement of coal, coal supply in slurry form by pipelines, especially for power stations, has received the attention of the Government from time to time. For the Seventh Plan, a 30 km. long experimental project has been identified for implementation. If successful and economically viable, the results would enable the design and layout of pipelines over longer distances.
6.126 Control of fires in coal seams: There are 70 major active fires in 40 collieries in BCCL area alone. A conceptual plan for dealing with them has been prepared by CEMPDIL. With actions already taken, some of the fires have been extinguished or effectively controlled resulting in saving of 35 million tonnes of prime coking coal. It should be possible to start work on all the remaining fire projects in the Seventh Plan and control them expedi-tiously to conserve scarce prime coking coal, and check surface subsidence.
6.127 Mining electronics: Introduction of mining electronics in the coal sector has been recognised as a major thrust area aiming at improvements mainly in productivity and safety. A plan has been formulated covering the following activities:
(iii) Industrial electronics
6.128 For implementing the schemes, Planning and System Engineering Cell in the coal companies would be strengthened. Efforts would be made to develop indigenous capabilities to manufacture the equipment. In the Seventh Plan, a model electronitied mine in each coal company should be set up to provide experience and training.
6.129 Financial management: Existing financial management and control of the coal sector would require a critical review and the Seventh Plan, all out efforts would have to be made to introduce the concept of projectised physical and financial controls through resource-based networks to obtain a disaggregated picture of the projects earning profits or substaining losses. Computerisation of financial data would greatly enhance the financial controls.
6.130 Employment: At the end of the Seventh. Plan, manpower strength of CIL and SCCL may show an overall growth of around 2 per cent annually. The manpower planning takes into account the technological upgradation in winning coal and large-scale mechanisation to be pursued. Accordingly, the emphasis would be on improved skills of workers to raise productivity levels. Institutional training and retraining facililties are provided for in the Plan for workers and supervisors. Share of highly skilled workers in the total force would go up.
6.131 Safety and Welfare: Social security and welfare measures for the coalmine workers constitute an integral part of the coal development plans. Welfare activities include residential housing, water supply, educational, medical, recreational facilities, etc. The companies would continue to spend adequately on such welfare measures.
6.132 Research and development: In addition to the spillover of 26 schemes from the Sixth Plan, 25 new schemes would be taken up in the Seventh Plan. It has been decided that R and D schemes will be divided into two categories, short-term (5 years) and long-term (15 years). In the Seventh Plan, particular attention will be paid to four major areas: production, productivity and safety; coal beneficiation; coal utilisation and environment and ecology. Some of the important projects that will be taken up are:
6.133 The existing set-up for administering, implementing and monitoring research activities will be revamped to improve the implementation of R and D projects and, in this direction, a Standing Scientific Research Committee has been set up to plan and oversee the implementation of R and D projects.
6.134 Among the other important R and D activities in the coal sector are the experimental projects in the fields of coal conservation and coal transportation.
6.135 At the end of the Sixth Plan (1984-85) lignite production in the country was raised to 7.8 million tonnes (Neyveli)7.1 million tonnes; Gujarat0.7 million tonne) from a level of 3.15 million tonnes in 1979-80. In the Seventh Plan period output would be raised to 15.2 million tonnes (Neyveli13.7 million tonnes; Gujarat1.5 million tonnes). The major lignite development schemes included in the Plan are as follows:
(i) A second lignite mine which was initially sanctioned for 4.7 million tonnes was further approved during the Sixth Plan for expansion to 10.5 million tonnes to meet the requirements of the second TPS.Commissioning of the mine is expected in 1990. With an available capacity of 6.5 million tonnes from the first mine, the total capacity would thus be raised to 17 million tonnes against which a production of 13.7 million tonnes is targeted related to the requirement of the downstream units.
(ii) Resulting from detailed exploration carried out, additional reserves have been established in the adjoining area of the first mine. To take advantage of them, it is proposed to take up expansion of the first mine from 6.5 million tonnes to 10.5 million tonnes. Additional quantity is proposed to be utilised for power generation. While work would commence in this Plan on both mining project and downstream power units, benefits would accrue in the Eighth Plan period.
(iii) Preliminary investigations and studies for development of a third lignite mine.
6.136 Gu/arat: Lignite mining is now done manually. Mechanisation of the open-cast mine at Panandhro for increasing the production to about 1.5 million tonnes will be completed in the State Sector. The lignite is proposed to be used in a pithead power station.
6.137 Rajasthan: Preliminary exploration take.n up in several areas indicated total possible reserves of 362 million tonnes and detailed exploration work taken up in the Sixth Plan will be continued with more emphasis on delineating mineable areas for developing mine plans for exploitation of lignite for use in power stations. Apart from the State Government, several agencies like NLC, MEC, GSI, NGRI, CEMPDIL, etc. would continue to be involved in the exploration programme.
Coal and Lignite: Plan Outlay
6.138 For the various programmes of development in the coal and lignite sector, a provision of Rs. 7400.58 crores has been made in the Central outlay of the Plan. The broad break-up is given in Table 6.9.
Sixth Plan Review
6.139 The addition of 14,226 MW in the installed capacity of power plants in the Sixth Plan period represents an increase of 49.4 per cent over the total installed capacity of 28,448 MW at the begining of the Sixth Plan. There were, however, delays in the commissioning of projects, extending in some cases to several years for reasons varying from poor project management to lack of funds. A tendency to spread available resources thinly over several projects was also noticed, resulting in slippages of most of such schemes. On the other hand, some project authorities, notably the National Thermal Power Corporation were able to demonstrate that given the appropriate support in terms of timely supply of inputs and availability of funds, thermal generating units at new stations could be commissioned in about 40 months from the time of placement of order of main equipment. Performance in regard to the construction of hydel projects remained unsatisfactory.
6.140 The target of installed capacity for nuclear power was 690 MWe, out of which 455 MWe was achieved with the commissioning of the second unit (220 MWe) of Rajasthan Atomic Power Station in April 1981 and Madras Atomic Power Station Unit-l (235 MWe) in July 1983. The installed capacity of nuclear power increased to 1095 MWe by the end of the Plan.
6.141 The Sixth Plan did not include specific physical targets for transmission lines but these were fixed on annual basis. In most of the years the performance was around 50 per cent of the targets. As a result, problems were faced in distribution of power, particularly from the Central superthermal power stations. Integrated working of the power regions was also affected. Transmission losses marginally increased. Not only was the transmission and distribution funded inadequately but there was also diversion of funds to generation projects in the State sector.
6.142 In so far as rural electrification is concerned, while the overall target of electrificaion of villages was exceeded, there was a shortfall of 30 per cent in regard to the energisation of irrigation pumpsets. The performance of the States varied and the shortfalls were considerable in the north-eastern region, West Bengal, Orissa, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.
6.143 Though one of the foremost tasks of the Sixth Plan was to improve the functioning of the thermal power stations, the actual results were not upto expectations. The Sixth Plan closed with a P.L.F. of 50.1 per cent, far below the level of 55.9 per cent achieved in 1976-77 but higher than the P.L.F. of 44.7 per cent in 1979-80. Attention was concentrated on early stabilisation of 200/210-MW units. Guidelines were formulated for improving the performance of thermal power plants. These envisaged reduction in the time taken for planned maintenance to bring down the forced outage rate. Efforts were also made in improving the coal quality and quantity, spare parts availability, operational standards and undertaking renovation and modernisation of old units. Towards the end of .the Sixth Plan, a comprehensive renovation and modernisation programme for poorly functioning thermal power plants was approved as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme at an estimated cost of Rs. 500 crores.
6.144 As a result of the slippages in the capacity additions, unsatisfactory performance of the thermal stations and partly due to non-completion of transmission lines, the conditions of power shortage continued but the shortage decreased from 16.1 per cent in 1979-80 to 6.1 per cent in 1984-85.
6.145 Capacity additions: As on 31-3-1985, the Planning Commission had already issued investment approvals for additional capacity of 37,677 MW comprising thermal 24,445 MW, hydel 12,057 MW and nuclear 1,175 MW. The target of additions to the installed capacity for the Seventh Plan has been fixed at 22,245.25 MW comprising thermal 15,999 MW, hydel 5,541.25 MW and nuclear 705 MW. The regionwise picture with regard to installed capacity at the begining and likely to be at the end of the Seventh Plan is given in Annexure 6.4. A list of schemes expected to give benefits during the Seventh Plan is given in Annexure 6.5 and the cumulative installed capacity at the end of the Seventh Plan for the States, UTs and the Central Sector is in Annexure 6.6.
6.146 Concerted efforts would have to be made at various levels to ensure that there are no slippages in terms of the capacity benefits as planned for the Seventh Plan from various schemes. The following aspects would need particular attention:
6.147 Equally important is the programme of ensuring that the newly commissioned thermal units are brought to a stable operation at full load as quickly as possible. This would require close cooperation between the operating utilities, equipment manufacturers/suppliers, plant designers and erection and commissioning contractors.
6.148 The better way of reducing power shortage is by improving the performance of the existing power plants. Maximising the utilisation of available generation facilities should therefore receive the highest priority. While the Centrally Sponsored Scheme of renovation and modernisation of thermal power stations would be continued, the monitoring authorities should ensure that the other stations are regularly maintained as per schedule. Close attention would have to be paid to the adequate and timely availability of maintenance staff, spare parts and workshop facilities.
6.149 The power projects for a region are cleared on techno-economic considerations keeping the requirements of the region in view and not necessarily of the State in which it is located. Therefore, any slippage in the additions in any particular State affects the other States. A mechanism would have to be evolved to ensure that the projects taken up from a regional point of view are implemented on time.
6.150 Generation: The Sixth Plan ended with a gross generation of 167 Twh giving an annual growth rate of 8.3 per cent on the basis of generation of 112 Twh in 1979-80. The generation requirement by the end of the Seventh Plan is estimated at 295 Twh, yielding a growth rate of 12.1 per cent per annum. The material balance in 1989-90 is given in Table 3.13 of Volume 1.
6.151 Power situation: In the Sixth Plan power shortage ranged from 12.6 per cent in 1980-81 to about 6.1 per cent in 1984-85. Given the generation of 295 Twh in 1989-90, the energy demand in the country will be fully met. However, the system will not be able to meet the peak demand to a small extent and demand management will have to be resorted to by staggering holidays, working hours, rostering agricultural pumpsets, etc. Increasing base-load capacity may not provide the most economical solution to the problem of peaking shortage, answer to which has to be sought in hydel back-up, petroleum-based gas turbines or new technologies which enable coalbased generating units with quick/stop start capability.
6.152 The above assessment is based on the assumption that the projects will be implemented on time and the generating stations will perform as per norms as adopted for the Sixth Five Year Plan.
6.153 Since the power position will vary from region to region and from year to year, advance action will have to be taken to identify the deficiencies in the transmission system so that surplus power from a State or region can be transferred to a deficit area.
6.154 Hydro power: A recent assessment of hydroelectric potential has been discussed earlier. The hydel-thermal mix which was 40:60 at the end of the Fifth Plan, was at the end of the Sixth Plan 33.7:66.3 and is likely to be 30.7:69.3 at the end of the Seventh Plan. Optimisation studies on long-term power planning reveal that without adequate hydel back up, the overall cost of meeting the power demand is more expensive. It would therefore be necessary to take corrective measures during the course of the Seventh and successive Plans towards a better hydel-thermal balance.
6.155 A study in the Planning Commission of the hydel projects commissioned in the Sixth Plan has revealed that the average gestation period of the hydel projects increased. With a view to ensuring timely implementation of such projects in future, the following steps would be required:
6.156 Uprating and renovation of hydro-electric power stations: A number of power stations commissioned during the pre-independence period have been delivering output lower than rated value. Most of these machines have already outlived their normal life and require either replacement or renovation. Some of the power stations commissioned during the 1970s also have inbuilt design problems, especially with bituminous windings. On the other hand, the power stations commissioned during the early years were conservatively designed and have certain inbuilt capacity reserves either in the turbines, generator or excitor. The design and manufacturing practices for hydro-electric equipment have since undergone a vast change. With improvement in the quality of materials used in the manufacture of these equipments, it is now possible to design more compact generating units to obtain higher output. It is, therefore, proposed to take advantage of the extra margins, wherever available, to uprate the old machines under renovation making use of the latest technology. An additional capacity of 858 MW is possible in this manner. Since such additions can be achieved at an economical cost, such schemes will receive priority in the Seventh Plan.
6.157 Sma// hydel: Though attention began to be focussed on small hydro units from the mid-sixties in the context of electrifying the isolated hill areas, especially in the Himalayan region, the progress made has been tardy, The potential of small hydel is reported to be about 5000 MW out of which the installed capacity is only 158 MW. The projects under construction total 130 MW. Several schemes are under investigation. Small hydel projects need to be given an emphasis because of increasing cost of power supply from the grid system. Small hydels can also provide economic power supply to rural and remote locations in a decentralised manner. Rural cooperatives should be encouraged to own them and where needed they should be provided with concessional finance. At present, many of these projects take five to eight years to complete. The costs and construction time should be further reduced through the adoption of simplified design and construction features and provision of standardised equipment.
6.158 Central sector: At the beginning of the Sixth Plan, the total installed capacity in the Central Sector excluding Nuclear power was 2759.5 MW. The capacity increased to 5662.5 MW by the end of the Sixth Plan. The share of the Central Sector in the total installed capacity rose from 9.7 per cent in 1979-80 to 13.3 per cent in 1984-85. This percentage will further increase to 22.1 per cent if the additional capacity envisaged is commissioned during the Plan period. Imbalances have been noticed in the operations of the Central thermal and hydel power stations. In several cases, the transmission lines were either not ready or not adequate to transmit the power to the concerned States. There were also instances when the States through which the transmission lines run could not cooperate in the evacuation of power to other States. In other words, the Central projects have not been able to operate as an integral part of the regional power system. Some Electricity Boards have not also promptly cleared the bills for the power purchased; the tariff rates fixed by NTPC or NHPC have been questioned. To solve the problem of evacuation of power, it is now proposed to lay HVDC transmission lines to the beneficiary States. This is obviously going to be costly when superimposed on the existing transmission network or more costly than the investment required to strengthen the existing system.Th-ese developments were not foreseen. While it is true that the commissioning of the Central Sector projects has brought great relief in alleviating the power shortage conditions in a region, the objective of the Central Sector supplementing and strengthening the regional power system is not being fulfilled to the desired extent. The role of such projects needs to be reviewed and discussed with the constituent States in the power region; otherwise there are dangers of investments in such projects not being fully utilised.
6.159 Nuclear power: Out of the total installed power capacity in the country as on 31.3.1985, nuclear power constituted 2.6 per cent. Its share in the total electricity generation in 1984-85 was 2.4 per cent.
6.160 India is one of the six countries in the world after the USA, USSR, UK, France and Canada which can design, construct, commission and operate a nuclear station all on its own. Almost 88 per cent of the cost of an Indian nuclear reactor now represents local costs.
6.161 The Department of Atomic Energy has prepared a Nuclear Power Profile which aims at achieving 10,000 MWe by the end of the century. One of the disadvantages, at present, is the very long time taken to complete such projects. If the period could be compressed, nuclear power will emerge as a viable alternative source compared to other forms.
6.162 In the Seventh Plan, commissioning of MAPP II and two units of 235 MWe at Narora are envisaged. Work on the Kakrapar project will be continued with a view to commission the project in 1990-91 and 1991-92. The Seventh Plan outlay also includes provision for four new units of 235 MWe each to be commissioned in the Eighth Plan. They will be set up in units of two at Rawatbhata in Rajasthan and Kaiga in Karnataka. Presently the four units fall short of the number required to achieve the target of 10,000 MWe by the end of 2000. Depending on the progress made in the construction of the sanctioned projects, provision of funds for additional units may have to be made. Work on design of the next higher size of 500 MWe has been provided for and will be expedited.
6.163 Captive power generation: By the end of the Sixth Plan, the installed generating capacity in captive power stations was about 4190 MW. This might increase by about 2866 MW by the end of the Seventh Plan. In addition, a number of small diesel generating sets have been installed in places which are experiencing acute power shortage. The data regarding such capacity is not available. The net generation from non-utility power station was 8.8 Twh in 1982-83 and is expected to reach 13.5 Twh in 1989-90.
6.164 The policy regarding captive power plants needs to be reviewed. In view of the power shortage, particularly in regard to peaking power, power-intensive industries should be discouraged. Wherever these are necessary in the public interest they must have captive power stations to meet their requirements fully. Fertiliser and other plants which have expensive equipment, sensitive to power fluctuations, should also be allowed to have their own power supply. In respect of other industrial units, instead of allowing small-sized diesel sets, they should be encouraged to set up jointly reasonably sized thermal power stations, particularly in those areas where the power shortage conditions are likely to continue for a long period. Not only this will be more economical but will also give relief to the Electricity Boards.
6.165 Transmission and distribution: The Plan provision includes associated transmission and distribution facilities corresponding to the additions of 22,245.25 MW expected in the Seventh Plan. It would also be necessary to take advance action on some lines keeping in view the additions to capacity maturing in the early part of the Eighth Plan. With a view to improving the performance of the power system with reference to voltage profile stability and transmission losses, the outlay includes provision for deployment of reactive compensation equipment. The outlay provides for modernisation and computerisation of the Load Despatch Centres and establishment of National Load Despatch Centre. Given the expansion of the power system, action will also be initiated in improving the communication facilities.
6.166 Integrated power system: Planning for generation, capacity additions and power systems has proceeded on the assumption that the power systems in each region would operate in close integration and power would be exchanged between systems conforming to well established principles which would lead to optimal operation of the integrated system. While facilities have been established and are also being strengthened, the problems of integrated operation of the regional systems have not been resolved. Basically the States in a region have to agree to a common operating frequency and other well-defined control philosophies like maintenance of reserves, load management by under-frequency relay schemes, merit order of backing down of generation during off-peak hours etc. The main issues that need resolution in this regard are:
6.167 Since the idea of Regional Electricity Authority suggested by the Committee on Power has not found favour with many States, the alternative proposals made for power exchange pool should be discussed and suitable arrangements finalised. Not only there are economies to be achieved in an integrated power system but also there would be security and reliability in the availability of power.
6.168 National power grid: Gradual progress has been made towards establishment of a National Power Grid. Today there is an extensive network totalling about 1,45,000 circuit kms. which include about 4000 circuit kms. of lines operating at 400 KV, whereas in 1950 there were hardly 10,000 circuit kms. of high voltage lines of 66 KV and above. A distinct feature of power development after independence was a continuous growth of system interconnections giving rise to an electric grid in each State. In the 1960s the area of coordination was extended from State level to regional level and the country was demarcated into 5 power regions. With the provision of loans by the Central Government the States were encouraged to construct inter-State lines and in some cases inter-regional tie lines. With the further additions to capacity and the establishment of Central power generating stations the inter-connections between the States and the regions were strengthened. A number of transmission schemes are on hand and some others are proposed to be taken up for effective inter-connections of the power regions. The aim is to connect all the power regions by the end of the Seventh Plan. The desirability of having a single organisation to own and operate the essential elements of the national grid needs to be urgently considered. However, the successful operation of the national grid will depend on achieving integrated operations of the power regions. The problems encountered in achieving this objective have been discussed in the previous paragraphs.
6.169 Rural electrification: At the end of the Sixth Plan around 64 per cent of the villages were electrified and about 47.5 per cent of the total potential of 120 lakh pumpsets were energised. In the Seventh Plan it is proposed to electrify 1.18 lakh villages and 23.9 lakh pumpsets. Most of the balance potential is in the North-Eastern Region and in the States of Madhya Pradesh, Qrissa, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Rajasthan. In these States special measures may have to be taken to achieve the targets.
6.170 There are about 10,000 villages which are at considerable distance from the power grids and it will be economical to provide electrical energy to many such places through alternative sources of energy. In this regard the Rural Electrification Corporation and the Department of Non-Conventional Energy Sources should work out a joint strategy for implementation.
6.171 The detailed Statewise targets for village electrification and energisation of pumpsets are given in Annexures 6.7 and 6.8.
6.172 Organisational structure: The type of problems and the magnitude of tasks that the State Electricity Boards are called upon to perform are totally different from what they were about 6-8 years ago. It is necessary in the light of past experience to identify the weaknesses and strengths of each Electricity Board, where necessary through competent Consultants in the very first year of the Seventh Plan. Necessary restructuring of the Boards as may be revealed from such study should be carried out. Unless this is done, the achievements are not likely to be commensurate with the investments made. The Electricity Boards are financially weak and there is a limit to which tariff can be raised to cover the escalations of cost and time over-runs, mounting T and D losses, huge inventories and excessive manpower.
6.173. Coal quality: There are other factors external to the working of the State Electricity Boards. These are supply of quality coal and its transportation. With some effort on the part of the coal mines, improving quality should not be an insurmountable problem. Even the extra investment required to improve the quality of coal will be much less than the financial gains from the improved working of the thermal stations. In the Sixth Plan it was also observed that several stations had precarious stocks of coal, some having as low stocks as for one/two days. Since the power stations will be consuming almost 51 per cent of the total coal production, the aspect of coal transportation needs to be studied with regard to all alternatives and a dependable solution found. Thermal power stations should have arrangements to stock coal for 46 weeks.
6.174 Training: The experience of the Sixth Plan has clearly indicated the need for adequately trained manpower for planning, design, construction and operation of sophisticated power systems. So far proper emphasis has not been placed on the training of operating personnel in load despatch operations, load management and in power system stability analysis. Similarly, there is need for training of personnel required for hydro-electric power stations. Training is not only necessary at the induction level but also during the course of career of each worker and officer. Refresher courses would need to be organised in various disciplines and for personnel at different levels, with particular reference to the latest developments in technology and experience in operations of power stations and systems.
6.175 An assessment of the existing training facilities has been carried out and the number of people required to be freshly trained has also been determined. Disciplines in which refresher courses will be necessary have also been identified. At the time of clearance of each project the requirement of training should be decided and suitable provisions made.
6.176 It would be necessary for the State Electricity Boards to set up their own training establishments. Power Engineers Training Society will need to be expanded and to provide course materials to the training centres of the State Electricity Boards. The other institutes, like the Power Systems Training Institute and the Hot Line Training Institute, will also have to grow. It may be necessary to have specialised institute for training of personnel in construction and operation of hydel projects. A need has also been felt for setting up at national level a staff training college or institute with special emphasis on management training for senior personnel working in the electricity organisations.
6.177 Technology: There is no proposal at present to put up thermal units beyond 500 MW capacity during the next 57 years. While technologies employed by the various manufacturers in the field of thermal, hydro and power systems, by and large, compare adequately with those being used in the advanced countries, there are a number of areas needing improvement, which would have to be looked into and necessary steps taken to update technology in these areas.
6.178 Hydel manufacturing capacity in the country will have to be modified for manufacturing unit sizes higher than 165 MW capacity. Indigenous suppliers should equip themselves adequately in the design and manufacturing technologies required for reversible hydro units. Manufacturing capability for fabrication of bulb type generating units needs also to be set up. Facilities for model testing of turbine runner require to be increased. Similarly, new methods of design of runner blade profiles by computer aided software systems need to be adopted. Site tests of the turbines for efficiency, output and cavitation should be arranged by acquiring proper testing instruments. Indigenous suppliers will have to update the technology relating to insulation system, design of sub-components and auxiliary equipment.
6.179 On a review of the problems faced by the thermal power station authorities, it is felt that technological modifications are required in the fields of instrumentation equipment and systems, automation in operation, control and data acquisition, design and material specifications for boiler tubes, coal mills, etc. Know-how may have to be acquired for the manufacture of equipment like tower type boilers for high ash coal, hydrogen cooled stators, gravimetric coal feeders, igniters which can burn coal directly, flame scanners of reliable design suitable for Indian coal, fluidized bed combustion boilers for large units, drum-type coal pulverisers designed for direct firing, etc.
6.180 One of the serious lacunae is the absence of checks during manufacture and construction. Quality assurance system at all important levels will have to be introduced.
6.181 Research and development: The R and D activities in the power sector have been confined mainly to applied research in the field of transmission and distribution and testing of transmission and distribution equipment. The process of power development calls for progressive adoption of sophisticated technologies to enhance the effectiveness of operations and reduce the costs. Accordingly, R and D efforts will be intensified to cover the entire spectrum of operations in the power sector.
The main emphasis would be towards:
6.182 In order to achieve the above goals, testing facilities would be expanded. R and D activities in new and emerging technological areas, such as, MHD and HVDC would be continued. The role of Central Power Research Institute will be enlarged so that its activities conform more closely to the country's power programme. National Thermal Power Corporation will establish a R and D laboratory mainly to serve as a support to their enlarged operations. Central Board of Irrigation and Power will extend its activities to applied research relating to failure analysis in thermal power plants. In addition, research activities connected with power sector will also be carried on by the BHEL, other electrical manufacturing units, Electrical Research and Development Association, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre and others.
6.183 Performance of the State Electricity Boards: There is a need for putting the financial performance of the State Electricity Boards (SEBs) on a sound footing. Many of the Boards have not been able to avoid commercial loses (gross operating surplus less depreciation less interest due) which have been increasing over time. At the start of the Sixth Five Year Plan it was estimated that commercial losses of the Boards in the Plan period would be about Rs. 4400 crores. The Boards were expected to mobilise resources of the order of Rs. 3500 crores to reduce the losses. According to the latest assessment, the anticipated losses in the Sixth Plan period are expected to be about Rs. 4500 crores (excluding subsidy). Thus the commercial losses have not shown any reduction. The projected estimates of reduction in losses in the Sixth Plan period could not be achieved in spite of the mobilisation of additional resources to the tune of Rs. 5200 crores due to shortfall in revenue receipts and increase in operating costs. w.e.f 1.4.1985. Planning Commission would be monitoring the implementation of this amendment. In any case, substantial revision of tariffs will be necessary to give impetus to conservation of a highly capital-intensive product that electricity is. The Boards also need to mobilise resources if the power programme is to be successfully implemented.
6.186 The Seventh Plan outlay is summarised in Table 6.10.
Excludes outlays for NEC, special projects Agriculture (REC's share), Rural Co-operatives and System Improvement Schemes.
6.184 In the Seventh Five Year Plan period it is estimated that the commercial losses might further increase to about Rs. 11,757 crores (excluding subsidy) at 1984-85 rates. This is sizeable increase and the SEBs would need to take vigorous steps to eliminate these losses or to bring them down substantially. The Board would have to take measures to improve their project implementation and to ensure better utilisation and maintenance of their plants, to control their operational, maintenance and staff cost and to rationalise or readjust their tariff in relation to the costs of operation. Many of the Boards which show high losses, have high proportion of sales to the agricultural sector for which the tariff rates are also very low. Some of the Boards receive subvention/ subsidy from the State Governments to cover the losses incurred by them on rural electrification. The States have however agreed to reduce the losses by Rs. 7000 crores during the plan period.
6.185 An important development with regard to the performance of the SEBs in the Seventh Plan period is the recent amendment to the electricity (Supply) Act 1948 which has stipulated for the first time that the Boards should earn a return of at least 3 per cent on their net fixed assets employed after meeting their depreciation and interest charges. This amendment had come into force
NEW AND RENEWABLE SOURCES OF ENERGY
Review of the Sixth Plan
6.187 During the Sixth Plan, major initiatives were taken to develop new and renewable sources of energy. The Commission on Additional Sources of Energy was established in 1981, and the Department of Non-conventional Energy Sources in 1982, both at the Central level. The main focus has been on research and development, demonstration and the setting up of pilot projects in areas where technology had the potential to become commercially viable. Against the approved Sixth Plan outlay of Rs. 100 crores, the actual expenditure during this period was Rs. 151.7 crores. Some of the areas of significant work with visible impact described below include: bio-energy (biogas and biomass), solar thermal energy and solar photovoltaics; wind energy, DAP and other renewable energies.
6.188 (a) Biogas: The National Project on Biogas Development was sanctioned as a Central Sector Scheme with an outlay of Rs. 50 crores and target of 4 lakhs biogas units during the Sixth Plan. The actual expenditure was Rs. 81.13 crores and the number of biogas plants installed was 3,55,889. It is estimated that there are about 15 million households with the requisite number of cattle which can set up family-size biogas plants.
6.189 Major constraints in extending the biogas programme are shortages in cement and steel, availability of land for installation of these plants and scarcity of water as feedstock. Other problems include poor gas generation at low temperature in hill areas and during winter months. The Ferrocement digestor and the Ganesh model developed and tested recently should help in extension of the programme, since these new models require much less cement and steel.
6.190 The setting up of community and institutional biogas plant (CBP/IBP) was taken up systematically since 1983-84. During the Sixth Plan, an outlay of Rs. 4 crores with a target of 100 CBP/IBP units was approved. However, a majority of the plants installed were institutional biogas plants which were set up mainly in public and private institutions.
6.191 (b) Biomass production, conversion and utilisation: In view of the significant use of fuel-wood, which is bound to continue, as also the possibility of using wood for energy through wood gasification, etc., there is a clearly identified need to grow biomass of all types under different agro-ecological conditions, and be able to optimally convert and use it. Accordingly, three biomass research centres were set up in different agro-climatic regions. Surveys of indigenous biomass resources, introduction of exotic varieties; the genetic, physiological and other aspects of such plants, and dissemination of information have been started under this programme.
Solar Thermal Energy
6.192 General awareness has been created in the country regarding the usefulness of various solar thermal energy devices and systems. During the Sixth Plan, an expenditure of Rs. 12.60 crores was incurred in this area. The physical achievements include setting up of about 2,000 solar thermal systems and the sale on subsidised basis of about 30,000 solar cookers.
6.193 Scientific and technological competence for R and D has been developed relating to different types of solar thermal systems and devices. A major constraint in the expansion of this area is the high initial capital cost. The Solar Thermal Energy Centre, which was started in the Sixth Plan, is now operational.
Solar Photovoltaics (SPV)
6.194 In solar photovoltaic systems, solar energy is converted directly into electricity. A serious obstacle to be overcome is the high initial capital cost compared to conventional power. In the systems developed in the country, the cost is about Rs. 100 per peak watt. This has to be reduced by a factor of three to four through breakthroughs in technology if SPV is to become economically viable over a wide range of applications.
6.195 During the Sixth Plan, Rs. 14.9 crores was spent on this programme. A wide-ranging programme of R and D in the area of SPVs has been initiated with a view to reducing costs, improving production technologies. A production base for photo-voltaic systems has been created in two public sector undertakingsCentral Electronics Limited and Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited. Solar pumps for drinking water supply and irrigation and photovoltaic street lighting in villages, were installed for demonstration and extension programme under a National Solar Photovoltaics Energy Development Programme (NASPED)
6.196 Although windmills have been known for several centuries, it was only during the last decade that sufficient advances have been made in this field in the developed countries in the design and development of cost-effective windmills for power generation. Wind-pumps for irrigation and drinking water have also been developed in some developing countries, including India. Wind energy potential is site-specific.
6.197 During the Sixth Plan, an outlay of Rs. 1.5 crores was provided against which an expenditure of Rs. 3.32 crores was incurred. The programme included development and demonstration of wind pumps for irrigation and drinking water. Against 1385 targeted wind pumping mills, about 1000 were installed under demonstration programmes. Small wind battery charges have also reached a degree of technological maturity, but considerable technological development is still required for large-scale wind-electric generation in the country.
6.198 Power from micro-hydel projects which can provide renewable energy for rural needs in a decentralised manner remains largely untapped in the country so far, especially from small streams and canal droppings. During the Sixth Plan, efforts to set up the necessary R and D base were initiated by establishing the Alternate Hydro Engergy Centre at Roorkee with central government funding, for developing technologies for tapping low head and low-capacity micro-hydel potential. A small demonstration programme was also taken up during the Sixth Plan.
6.199 The thermal efficiency of traditional chullahs ranges from 2 to 10 per cent (average 6.1 per cent) whereas the thermal efficiency of improved chullahs ranges from 14 to 25 per cent. Considering that about 120 million tonnes of fuel wood are consumed for cooking annually, the saving of fuel wood from introduction of improved chullahs would be enormous. Besides energy conservation and preservation of forest cover, the programme also provides many tangible environmental benefits like pollution control, relief from health hazards and improvement in the quality of life, especially in the rural areas. 8.12 lakhs improved chullahs were installed in the Sixth Plan against the target of 5 lakhs.
Draught Animal Power (DAP)
6.200 DAP in India is derived from a live stock population of about 80 million, of which 70 million are bullocks and 8 million are buffaloes. DAP would continue to play a key role especially in the rural areas, for a long time to come. Improvements in various implements and technologies utilised in animal driven systems would clearly yield significant benefits. The groundwork has been laid for a Centre of Animal Energy, for organising and coordinating such programmes.
Other Renewable Energies
6.201 Other renewable energy sources on which R and D efforts have been initiated in the Sixth Plan include: chemical sources of energy; hydrogen storage and utilisation; geothermal energy; and ocean energy. A demonstration programme was organised for 10 battery-powered vehicles of 1 tonne each. A special cell has been set up at I IT, Madras for development of ocean thermal conversion technology (OTEC) and working out details for setting up a 1-MW OTEC Plant. Substantial progress was made in the development of MHD project through the special facilities at the project site in Tirichy and installation of plant and machinery required for the pilot plant operation.
6.202 The main objectives during the Seventh Plan would be to encourage the development and acceleration utilisation of renewable energy sources wherever they are technically and economically viable; to improve the access to, and availability of, renewable decentralised energy sources, particularly for the rural population; to contribute towards balanced rural and urban development, and development of backward, hilly and tribal areas by enabling the use of locally available decentralised renewable energy sources; and to reduce environmental degradation resulting from deforestation. To achieve these objectives, it is proposed to support intensive R and D for development of indigneous technologies; organisation of a large number of demonstration projects for promotion of awareness and testing of systems in field conditions, creation of demand through Government interventions, including appropriate financial incentives; involvement of State-level and voluntary agencies in various aspects of these new energy sources; and overcoming socio-cultural constraints through education, extension and training.
Research and Development (R and D)
6.203 Research and Development of renewable sources of energy in the developed countries have mainly concentrated on fundamental concepts and processes materials (Properties, technology, use), sub-systems, etc. While these are of value and relevance for the Indian Programme, our R and D efforts must also take into account specific operational and field conditions where these renewable energy sources have to be largely built, operated and maintained on a decentralised basis. R and D efforts must therefore aim at improvement of process and cost reduction which are related to local conditions, resources and skills and are location-specific.
6.204 The focus of R and D on renewable energy sources would be to organise a large-scale end-to-end programme for the design, development, testing, demonstration and commercialisation of renewable energy technologies; the objectives would be to cut costs and improve operations performance so as to make these technologies increasingly competitive vis-a-vis existing conventional energy alternatives. For this, existing institutions would be strengthened and a mission-oriented approach adopted.
6.205 Incentives and assistance would be provided to industries in the public and private sectors for developing new and improved energy technologies, when such innovations are in the public interest, but cannot be accomplished either in a timely manner or through industry action alone. Public financial commitment would, however, be kept to a minimum and would be initiated in those key areas where private investment is not forthcoming.
6.206 Major R and D thrust areas during the Seventh Plan would include: cost reduction in family-size biogas plants by at least 25% of the present basic price and increasing gas production at low term peratu res; R and D efforts in solar photo-voltaics focussing on developing new materials or bringing about quantum reduction in SPV costs; R and D in wind energy on superior pump systems suitable for low wind speed and deep well pumping, and on indigenous development of wind generation systems. Biomass research studies would be mainly concerned with selection of species with higher adaptability, nitrogen fixing ability and for multiple use. In microhydel systems, R and D efforts would aim at developing control systems, microprocessors, and civil engineering technology for low and ultra low head microhydel systems.
6.207 All these research activities would be closely linked with prototype development and industrial production on the one hand, and field performance on the other, so as to bring about all round reduction in costs and improved operational performance in renewable energy technologies systems.
Creation of Demand through Economic Measures
6.208 A major constraint in large-scale utilisation of renewable energy systems is their high initial capital cost. The costs of solar, wind or biomass devices are considerably higher than that of installing alternatives based on conventional fuels. This becomes a deterrent to most potential users of renewable energy systems in our country where capital is relatively scarce and individual earnings are not high. The low level of production, in turn, inhibits cost reduction that may to some extent be achieved through a larger volume of production. The problem of high cost of renewable energy systems has to be overcome through intensive efforts of technology development, materials and manufacturing innovation. However, fiscal and other economic measures would also have an important role in the creation of demand of renewable energy technologies. In this context, pricing of conventional energy to the users does not always reflect the real cost of introducing and distributing them. A comprehensive system of energy pricing thus needs to be developed which takes into account the subsidies for different sources of energy, conventional as well as non-conventional and renewable sources of energy.
6.209 Practical sized demonstration programmes would be organised by Government with public funds for those renewable energy technologies which have the potential of early commercialisation, in order to obtain operational feedback for technology development, which may then be left to the industy.
6.210 Budgetary resources would also be utilised for promoting renewable energy technologies for meeting energy needs of the disadvantaged sections of the population and in socially, relevant areas. For this purpose, programmes such as cheaper models of biogas plants, as well as community biogas plants, programmes for smokeless chullahs and wood stoves, wind pump for irrigation and drinking water, low-grade solar heating systems, solar cookers and other appropriate renewable technologies would be promoted on a large scale through provision of appropriate economic incentives.
6.211 Government would also undertake pilot demonstration projects for the decentralised production of power through various renewable energy sources in order to demonstrate their viability. Resources for this purpose would, as far as possible, be raised from institutional finance and the number of pilot projects would be limited to a minimum necessary for establishing techno-economic viability, after which user agencies in the public and private sectors would be persuaded to take over operational responsibility.
6.212 The widespread utilisation of renewable energy technologies would require a suitable infrastructure for manufacturing, installation and servicing of renewable energy systems. This becomes the more improtant when decentralised and autonomous installations are to be propagated. At this time, such infrastructure does not exist and would have to be systematically built up in the Seventh Plan period and beyond. It must be noted that, as the use of conventional fuels increased in the last several decades, a vast infrastructure for manufacturing, distribution, supplies, maintenance, servicing, etc., has been built up. A similar start for the renewable energy sector would have to be made during the Seventh Plan. This infrastructure becomes especially necessary for renewable energy technologies which are now commercial, including solar, thermal, wind and biogas energy technologies.
Removing Social and Cultural Constraints through Education and Extension and Training
6.213 A large-scale programme of extension, education and creation of awareness has to be taken up simultaneously with the building up of infrastructure. Since renewable energy has so far been used in traditional ways, awareness has to be promoted regarding newer technologies which offer more efficient ways of utilising renewable energy sources. Habits and cultural practices have also to be changed if renewable energy devices are to be used on a wider scale. For example, solar cooking requires changes in eating habits and the timings for preparing and eating food which may be very different from existing practices. Utilisation of wind energy for irrigation requires adjustments in existing agricultural cropping and schedules. Similarly, the use of community installations such as community biogas plant and energy plantations also requires basic changes in the outlook of the rural people from their existing individualistic life style to sharing of inputs and outputs based on collective living. All these changes can only be brought about through well-organised education and extension efforts for which the mass media would be imaginatively used and the participation of various voluntary and local groups and leaderships would be actively sought.
New and Renewable Sources of Energy Programmes
6.214 Keeping in view the objectives, and basic approach given above, the new energy sources programme in the Seventh Plan would focus on technology development, demonstration and extension of these technologies, which have become technically and economically viable, and are socially relevant. An outlay of Rs. 412.35 crores has been provided for the Seventh Plan Programme. The main thrust areas for the Seventh Plan include:
6.215 Biogas: A large component of the bio-energy programme is the development and utilisation of biogas (including community biogas and R and D). This is an on-going programme which has made an impact in meeting the energy needs for cooking, lighting and fertilisers in rural areas. Under the National Project on Biogas Development (family size plants) a target of 7.5 lakhs plants for the Seventh Plan has been fixed. R and D efforts would focus on developing low-cost designs and diversification of feedstocks. The emphasis in the CBP/ IBP programmes would be on promoting community biogas plants for meeting energy needs of the weaker sections of the community. For this purpose, new cooperative arrangements would be developed and tested for their successful installation and operation.
6.216 Biomass: The other major component of bio-energy which will be developed on a significant scale in the Seventh Plan is the bio-mass programme, which includes development of selected species for energy plantations and power generation, conversion of wood, and utilisation of agricultural residues. New schemes would include large-scale cultivation of fuel-wood, biomass-based wood-gasifier engines for irrigation and drinking water purposes; solid fuel through conversion of agricultural wastes into pellets and briquettes, and production of liquid for transportation from biomass such as ethanol and methanol. Six bio-mass centres are proposed to be set up in different parts of the country for providing R and D back-up for these demonstration and operational programmes.
6.217 R and D, field demonstration and extension programmes in solar photovoltaics and solar thermal energy would be intensified. Solar thermal programmes would consist of extension programme for cookers, water heating, timber kilns, solar distillation, dryers, steam generators, other (manpower evaluation, monitoring, etc.) and field demonstration and testing for refrigeration, cold storage, air-conditioning power-generating decentralised systems, tower ponds, passive buildings, etc.
6.218 Solar photovoltaic programme would consist of R and D, demonstration and extension activities. Extension programmes would include solar street lighting, solar pumps for irrigation and drinking water. Field demonstration would include electrification in remote villages water solar pumping systems, and power generation system of 10 to 100 KW capacity. R and D would focus on development of amorphous silicon cells and pilot plants for amorphousilicon and ribbon silicon solar cells, as well as development of other system components, including concentrator cells, tracking system, multi-layer cells, and other thin film devices. A national testing facility would also be set up for testing and calibrating solar photovoltaic components.
6.219 The urban waste programme would cover R and D, incineration, sewage and sludge utilisation, landfill, and distillery effluent and pyrolysis projects. Based on the experience of the Sixth Plan project in Delhi, energy recovery and sewage treatment plants are proposed to be taken through the funds available with Central Ganga Authority.
6.220 In the wind energy programme, focus would be on technology development of wind generation systems, and for bringing about major improvements and cost reduction in the utilisation of wind pumps for irrigation and drinking water. Wind energy programmes would also include strengthening of wind data base and setting up pilot projects on wind monitoring, R and D of medium and large wind electric generators and demonstration and field testing of wind pumps, small battery chargers as well as setting up of wind farms. A training programme would be organised for creating skilled personnel.
6.221 The National Programme of Chullahs and wood stoves which has been enthusiastically accepted by the rural population would be expanded during the Seventh Plan with reduced subsidies. R and D efforts will be intensified to improve efficiency of stoves and chullahs and the training programme will be made more broad-based.
6.222 Micro-hydel programme would cover R and D demonstration and setting up of pilot projects to become a major R and D programme for tapping the vast untaped micro-hydel potential. Small hydel projects with a capacity of 50 KW100 KW would be specially promoted during the Seventh Plan for tapping hydro-energy in canal droppings and small streams.
6.223 The Draught Animal Power programme would be organised and coordinated through setting up of a Centre for DAP which would be responsible for developing and coordinating programmes for improvements of DAP utilisation in the country. New designs of improved carts and water-lifting devices would be developed and promoted. Also, programmes for improving utilisation of human energy for transportation through cycle rickshaw and hand-carts, as well as by landless labourers and artisans, would be developed and promoted.
Other Renewable Energy Sources and R and D
6.224 Decentralised production of power through utilisation of solar, wind, biogas and biomass would be taken up on a pilot demonstration basis to get the necessary feedback on techno-economic viability and operating performance. Based on these demonstration projects, appropriate organisations in the private and public sectors, including State Electricity Boards, would be involved in further developemnt and commercialisation.
6.225 Work on chemical energy, battery-powered vehicles, geo-thermal energy, ocean thermal energy conservation and MHD would be continued and expanded as part of an intensive and wide-ranging R and D programme for the long-term energy options. In geo-thermal energy, studies relating to geo-thermal potential and development of low and medium temperature geo-thermal based applications would be continued. In chemical sources of energy, emphasis would be placed on the development of fuel cell technology and improved energy storage system. A pilot OTEC project will be set up at Lakshadweep. Programme-wise outlays are given in Annexure 6.10.
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