India is now the world’s third-largest electricity producer

Heavy demand.
Heavy demand.
Image: Reuters/Shailesh Andrade
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India now generates around 1,160.1 billion units of electricity in financial year 2017, up 4.72% from the previous year. The country is behind only China which produced 6,015 terrawatt hours (TWh. 1 TW = 1,000,000 megawatts) and the US (4,327 TWh), and is ahead of Russia, Japan, Germany, and Canada.


Total electricity production stood at 1,003.52 billion units in India between April 2017 and January 2018. “Multiple drivers (like industrial expansion and rising per capita income) are leading to growth in power demand; this is set to continue in the coming years,” said a report by the India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF), an arm of the Indian government’s ministry of commerce.

The country’s installed power generating capacity of 334.4 gigawatt (GW, or 1,000 megawatts) as of January 2018 is the world’s fifth-largest. Over the last five years, India put up 99.21 GW of additional capacity. Of this, 91.73 GW came from thermal sources, 5.48 GW from hydro, and 2 GW from nuclear sources.

Back in 2016, India became the world’s third-largest power consumer, too. The country’s consumption is now set to go up to 1,894.7 TWh by 2022, the IBEF said.

However, production levels are not enough to meet the rising demand which has outstripped supply by about 7.5%, the report said. So India now plans to tap the $14.94 billion opportunity in the power-transmission market, according to the IBEF. Over the last 17 years, foreign direct investment (FDI) in the sector has reached $12.97 billion, accounting for 3.52% of all FDI inflows into the country.

India also intends to add around 100 GW of power capacity between 2017 and 2022, focusing more on hydro, renewable, and gasbased power, besides looking at the adoption of clean coal technology.

For instance, India plans to have around 60 GW of wind capacity and around 100 GW of solar by 2022. The government aims to quadruple its nuclear capacity to 20 GW by 2020, the report said. Over the last five years, renewable energy has been the fastest-growing segment, but still contributes only around 14% to the total power capacity in India.