Bihar Power Demand to Jump with Massive Rural Electrification – A Worry of Planner

Bihar has low electricity consumption but it might see a big jump in its power demand soon, with rural electrification programme in the state progressing at a brisk pace. The state should deal with the emerging challenge through a strategy involving both supply and demand side measures.

Bihar has achieved very high growth rate in the past five years. Sustenance of this growth rate requires huge jump in electricity demand. Bihar’s per capita annual consumption of electricity of around 100 kWh against the national average of around 771 kWh is due to very poor state owned generation (only one unit of 110 MW is in operation with 38% plant load factor) and low allocation from CPSU (around 1,600 MW). Rural electrification which currently stands at around 10% is expected to grow to around 100% in the next two years thanks to RGGVY.

With T&D losses at pegged by commission at 38%,but in actual more than 50%, the finances of Bihar State Electricity Board are in poor shape. The Government provided the Board with revenue subsidy and grant of R 1020 crore in the financial year 2010-11. Still there is gap of  more than 120 Crs,  It is essential for the state to adopt a multi-pronged strategy so that in a short time frame availability of power can be increased, T&D losses can be reduced, wasteful consumption is controlled, demand side management used to reduce peak power demand and Distributed Generation used to provide security of supply in rural sector