Expressing concern over the erratic supply of electricity across Assam for many days because of power deficiency, a forum of graduate engineers urged the government to encourage more people to nurture solar power consumption initiatives for their daily needs. All Assam Engineers’ Association (AAEA), in a media statement, also urged the State power generation and distribution companies to make the procedures for installing household solar power units more simple and viable for the consumers.
The situation turned worse as the heat wave continued till the middle of September this year in Assam. The public angers are reflected on social media space and many people have hit the streets demanding regular power supply.
Facing the public uproar, State chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma came with the statement that because of an abrupt increase in the peak time demand (5 to 10 pm), the situation has worsened. Sarma admitted that Assam witnessed an increase in its power requirement from 1,800 megawatt (MW) to 2,500 MW this year.
But the State generates and purchases a limited volume of energy (around 1650 MW) and thus it is compelled to buy electricity (around 700 MW) from the open source to meet the consumers’ demand in peak hours. He also cautioned that the authority has to restrict the peak time demand within 2000 MW with the help of load shedding for a few minutes. If the power supply has to be maintained 24×7, Assam Power Distribution Corporation Ltd (APDCL) will have to hike the tariff.
“While the government has to make a long term strategy to fullfil the enhanced demand for power in the State, solar power should be made a priority. To encourage every household to install tiny solar plants on their roofs (or other open places), the concerned authorities should popularize the provisions, said AAEA president Er Kailash Sarma, working president Er NJ Thakuria and secretary Er Inamul Hye. They also urged State power minister Nandita Gorlosa to look into the matter seriously so that more families can afford the system and enjoy solar power benefits flawlessly.
Mentionable is that the electricity prices for household consumption remain moderate in India, which is the third largest producer of electricity in the world. The most populous country depends mostly on fossil fuels (coal and gas) for its generation and now the Union government is looking for alternate (renewable) energy sources to feed nearly 140 crore people.
India has witnessed an increase of per capita electricity consumption in recent years and to keep up the momentum in days to come, the AAEA appealed to the government to simplify the guidelines for installing household solar units and also give consumers the liberty to use the supplied electricity (as and when needed) with no monthly rental services.