ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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COVID-19 Economic Stimulus and State-level Performance of Power Distribution Companies

As part of the COVID-19 economic stimulus package, the Government of India increased the borrowing limit of the states from 3% to 5% of the gross state domestic product. The power sector reform at the state level is one of the criteria to avail this extra borrowing. The efficiency parameters of the power sector are analysed here, and it is observed that there are statewise differentials in the financial and operational parameters. The average aggregate technical and commercial losses that should have been 15% by 2018–19, presently, on average, stand at 26.15%. The average cost of supply–average revenue realised has also widened. The operational parameters indicate widening inefficiencies across states in the power infrastructure.

Coal Woes: Are They Touch and Go?

To combat the coal shortage and prevent its recurrence, meticulous and efficient planning holds the key.

Managing Transition to a Low-carbon Electricity Mix in India

Demand for electricity in India is growing due to the increase in GDP and quality of life along with structural changes in the energy sector leading to the increase in the percentage share of electricity in the total final consumption of energy. Decarbonisation of the energy sector is a necessity, and it should be achieved without negatively affecting economic growth of the country. It can be best managed by having a diverse portfolio of technologies as diversity provides supply security, resilience, and hedging against price fluctuations. Therefore, all low-carbon technologies—hydro, nuclear, solar, and wind—should be exploited and provided with a level playing field.

Electricity Generation from Bio Pellets

This article discusses the possibilities of using agricultural residues in power generation. It traces the evolution of the use of bio pellets in thermal power plants and the pilot projects implemented by the National Thermal Power Corporation that led to the successful roll-out of the new technology. Finally, it enumerates the advantages and disadvantages of using bio pellets and the emerging challenges.

Enforcing Renewable Purchase Obligations

The Renewable Purchase Obligation mechanism and the trade of Renewable Energy Certificates were introduced to promote investment in renewable energy. However, the RPO requirement has not been met in many cases in India, which has resulted in low trading in RECs. While there are a few instances of state electricity regulatory commissions imposing penalties, a uniform enforcement of this mechanism by imposing specific penalties on non-complying entities can be recommended.

How Over-Invoicing of Imported Coal has Increased Power Tariffs

Forty of India's biggest energy companies are being investigated by a wing of the Union Ministry of Finance for over-invoicing of imported coal. The artificially higher prices of coal have been passed on to electricity consumers across the country. The scam is conservatively estimated by government officials at no less than Rs 29,000 crore, a third of which is in the form of higher power tariffs. Big names from the corporate sector, notably the Adani group and ADAG, are being probed for their alleged involvement in the scandal. An exclusive report.

Performance of the Southern States

This paper examines the performance of four southern states in various economic and social sectors during the past decade, comparing and contrasting them with each other and the average all-India figures in these sectors. Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka have done the most to initiate reforms in recent years. Kerala is moving in this direction too, after initial delays, as is Tamil Nadu. As the four states face several individual and common challenges in the coming years, they need to deepen reforms and tailor strategies in keeping with their particular circumstances, in their quest for growth.

Energy and Labour Use in Industry

This paper looks at substitutability between labour and fuel in the manufacturing sector of Andhra Pradesh, taking into account factor intensities, input ratios and relative prices. The study determines that there is a technical possibility of substitution between fuel and labour, but it is now important to study the actual processes involved at the firm level.

Karnataka : Incidence of Agricultural Power Subsidies

Who benefits from the large electricity subsidy provided to farmers in Karnataka? This note looks at the distribution of the annual subsidy, finding it to be quite inequitable. By far the largest beneficiaries are medium and large farmers and the great majority of the rural population receive no benefits at all.

Independence of Regulators under the Electricity Bill

A critical look at the electricity bill presented to parliament from the standpoint of the independence of the regulatory commissions under the bill's provisions.
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