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While the Gujarat government has publicly conceded that there will be a water crisis this summer, there is also now the possibility of a power crisis. The state government is already facing lot of issues and it is likely that power demand will go much higher in summer and the state will have to buy power from the open market to meet demand.
A key source close to the development said, "Power demand has already started picking up, as winter is almost over in the state. Due to the closure of imported coal-based power plants with capacity of 3,000MW and gas-based plants of around 5,000MW, though the state has installed capacity, we are buying around 400MW of power from the open grid presently. Our demand is presently 11,800MW. Last year, peak demand was 15,570MW. We expect demand to rise by around 7% to 10% from last year.
"As there will be a shortage of surface water this season due to low water levels in dams, there will be increased exploitation of groundwater, which will also increase electricity demand substantially. Compared to now, demand may increase by 5,200MW at the peak of summer and the state may have to buy electricity from the central grid.
"All hydro-based power plants will also remain closed in summer. There will be some addition in solar and wind power generation, but compared to demand, supply from state-based resources will be less. Hence, the state has to prepare a backup plan to buy electricity from the central grid to maintain supply. Last year, the government bought around Rs 1,200 crore of electricity. This time it may cross Rs 1,500 crore."
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