Power sector                    

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International Energy Initiative,
Asian Regional Energy Initiative,
80-B Spencer Road, 2nd Cross, Fraser Town,
Bangalore 560 005,

+91 80 2555 3563


  The Asian Regional Energy Initiative of the IEI

Power sector

Integrated Resource Planning (IRP) for the power sector in developing countries:

The IRP approach is one that considers both supply and demand-side options to meet the need for a resource, while minimising the costs accruing to the firm and to society.  A study conducted during 2001-03 focuses on IRP as a tool for the power sector in developing countries.  While power sectors have been restructured and market-driven systems put into place, the existing problems -- chiefly inadequate resources, poor access for large proportions of the population in many places, and environmental degradation -- have not been addressed adequately.  These issues, in turn, force decision-makers to make choices; IRP provides the analytical tools for making these choices systematically and transparently. A paper was published for international readership.

While there are programmes devoted to promoting efficiency improvements and/or renewable sources of electricity that are included in power plans, there are relatively few cases where both supply and demand options and their externalities are compared.  A study was made in the year 2010, of the attempts at IRP for the power sector in countries around the world.  These included, to the extent that information has been published, all the cases where IRP was carried out in some form -- either directly, with a comparison of supply and demand options, or through some form of portfolio optimisation, or where IRP was at least being considered in the power sector.

Options for implementing IRP in the Indian power sector:

Recent legal and institutional changes have provided the Indian power sector with opportunities for adopting better planning practice through the formulation of new policies and regulations, and the possible assignment of new tasks.  In this context, during 2010-11, it was considered worthwhile to evaluate the potential structures and policy measures through which the Indian power sector could employ IRP methods in its planning processes.

However, despite the advantages of IRP, utilities have not adopted such planning methods.  A study was therefore made during 2014-15, of Indian state distributing utilities, particularly the Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (BESCOM), after which publication enabled wider readership.  Identifying the barriers -- technical, financial, and operational -- that discourage the practice of IRP, the study also indicated necessary and sufficient conditions for integrated planning to be adopted.

Comparative costs of electricity generation in India:

An estimation of the costs per unit of electricity from the existing and proposed PHWR (pressurised heavy water reactor) nuclear power plants in India was made during 2002-05, for the purpose of comparison with other generation plants.  While such costs had been estimated earlier (as shown in the Analysis section of our Activities, proposals for new reactors necessitated further study, and at the time neither the proposed capital costs of new plants nor those actually incurred for earlier stations were easily available.

Karnataka's power sector:

As a culmination of our study of Karnataka’s power sector for a decade, a discussion paper was prepared.  This included our compilation and analyses of the state’s electricity supply system and the constituents of demand.  Apart from the details, a schematic representation of the system as a whole was drawn up, with links between stakeholders, along with their responsibilities and required activities. Considering the objectives of each entity, we suggested practicable strategies to meet the goals.