Power - Meaning and Challenges

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Power Sector in India

Power is one of the most critical components of the infrastructure which is very crucial for economic growth and the welfare of the nations. The existence and development of ‘Power’ are essential for the sustained growth of the Indian economy in a full-fledged manner.

India’s power sector is the most diversified in the world. The sources of power generation range from conventional sources like coal, lignite, natural gas, oil, hydro, and also nuclear power. This extends to the non-conventional sources as well such as wind, solar, and agricultural and domestic waste.

We will learn about this infrastructure in great detail. 


Meaning and Challenges of Power

We are quite clear about the meaning of Power. To recapitulate, ‘Power’ is the most crucial infrastructure that helps a nation to survive economically. This is being considered as the basic essential for a development process. All the commercial and societal hub depends upon this infrastructure. 

First, we will head on to the problems as are faced by this infrastructure

1. The troubles of the power companies can be traced down to structural issues such as:

  • No meaningful price reforms

  • Less reliable fuel supply and

  • The unsustainable finances of the public sector power distribution companies.

2. Stressed Accounts:

The power sector does have stressed accounts. It has 34 stressed accounts which is worth Rs 1.8 lakh crore, this is the biggest worry for the banks as resolving the matter through IBC will erode the actual value of assets. 

3. Next, the Standing Committee on Energy has observed that the development in the power sector is not being balanced. Apart from the de-licensing generation which has helped the increased generation activities, the other segments like the transmission and distribution, have not been given much attention.

4. Paying Attention to Power- Coal:

  • The shortage of this fuel for power plants has become very critical in recent months. Many of the coal mines are already sold off in an auction, the verdict as being mandated by the Supreme Court is not at all operational.

  • Continued and increasing dependence on imported coal has created deficiencies in the domestic capacity.

  • The Mining in a number of coal blocks was stuck up for want of clearances.

Sources of Power Generation in India


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The main and the important sources of the power generation of India are the –

  • Thermal Power

  • Hydro-Electricity Power

  • Nuclear and Atomic Power. 

All the sources of power assist the nation in their own specialized way. Now we will study a table which will give us an idea about the capacity of the sources that are working in the country.  

Current Situation of Various Sources of Power Generation in India is given below:

Types of Power Plant

Installed Capacity (MW)

Percentage Share

1. Thermal power

(i) Coal Gas

(ii) Gas based

(iii) Oil-based

153848

132288

20360

1200

68.14

58.59

9.02

0.53

2. Hydro Power

39623

17.55

3. Nuclear Power

4780

2.12

4. Renewable Source of Energy

27542

12.20

Total Energy

225793

100.00


The Demand For this Infrastructure

Electricity demand in the country has increased quite rapidly and this is expected to rise further in the future years. Also, to meet the increasing demand for electricity in the country, a huge addition is to be installed for generating the capacity as required.

In the year 2018, May, India ranked fourth in the Asia Pacific region out of the 25 nations on an index that measures the overall power of this industry. 

India ranked fourth in wind power and positioned fifth in solar power and fifth in renewable power. Also, as a matter of data, India ranked sixth in the list of countries that had made significant investments in clean energy at US$ 90 billion.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. Define Infrastructure.

Ans. Infrastructure is the basic term for the physical systems of a business, region, or nation. Examples of infrastructure may include transportation systems, communication networks, sewage, water, and electric systems.

Economic infrastructure is the basic facility that directly benefits the process of production and distribution in an economy. The Roads, railways, telecommunication systems, waterways, airways, financial institutions, electricity, water supply, etc are all examples of economic infrastructure.

2. What are Conventional Sources?

Ans. Conventional energy sources are natural gas, oil, coal, or nuclear which are finite but still hold the majority of the energy market. However, there are renewable energy sources like wind, fuel cells, solar, biogas/biomass, tidal, geothermal, etc. Wind power is a clean, emissions-free power generation technology.

The sources of energy that have been in use for a long time are called the conventional sources of energy. Coal, petroleum, natural gas, hydel energy, wind energy, and nuclear energy are all considered to be the conventional sources of energy.

3. How Does Wind Power Work?

Ans. Wind power serves as a source of energy. The Wind turbines work on a simple principle that is instead of using the electricity to make wind, like the fan works. The wind turbines use the wind to make electricity. The wind turns the blades of a turbine around a rotor, which spins a generator, and this creates electricity.