During the last five years, ending in 2012, India has witnessed a 9 percent power shortage. An Economic Survey, on February 27, 2013 said, “During the 11th Five Year Plan (2007-12), nearly 55,000 MW of new generation capacity was created. Yet there continues to be a peak shortage of 9 per cent”.
The survey added that the resources currently allocated to energy supply are not sufficient enough, in order to narrow the gap between energy needs and its availability. Moreover, the country is highly reliable in terms of imported crude oil, which makes it imperative to have an optimal energy mix. This will allow the country to achieve its long run goal of sustainable development.
In March 2011, the estimated coal reserves of the country were at about 286 billion tonnes. The electricity generation by power utilities during 2012-13 was targeted to go up by 6.05 percent, to 930 billion units as well.
The growth in power generation during the months of April to December 2012 was 4.55 percent, as compared to 9.33 percent in 2011, during the same months. The dependence on import crude oil is projected at 78%, while that of coal will be 22.4 percent by 2016-17, according to the survey.