Keralites will use up 19,800 million units (MU) of power during 2012- 2013, and 65 per cent of it will come through power purchases from outside.
The mismatch between home-grown hydel power and purchased thermal power has only grown over the years, so the projection should come as no surprise.
The hydro-electric stations in the state are expected to churn out only 35 per cent of the power requirement this fiscal.
52 per cent is expected to come from the central generation stations (CGS) aka the ‘central pool’ while the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) will have to cover the remaining 18 per cent through purchases via the traders and the power exchange, according to data presented by Electricity Minister Aryadan Mohammed in the Assembly.
For years now, the KSEB has been spending over 50 per cent of its annual budget on purchase of thermal power to keep the state lit up.
In 1981-82, the hydel powerthermal power ratio of power supplied in the state was 99:1.
By 2012-2013, it has changed to a staggering 65:35, according to KSEB’s own figures.
To meet immediate requirements, the KSEB has entered into agreements to ensure supply of 500 MW between July and September 2012, and 650 MW daily from then on upto May 2013 at low prices.
During the next five years, the State Government hopes to tender 39 projects, majority of them Small Hydro- Electric Projects (SHEP), having a total installed capacity of 611 MW.