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Transmission network expansion falls short of target in first half of FY24

New Delhi: India achieved only 61.5% of its target on expanding power transmission lines in the first half of the fiscal year, according to data from the Central Electricity Authority (CEA).

During April-October, 7,026 circuit kilometres (ckm) of transmission lines were set up, well below the target of 11,420 ckm, according to the CEA’s executive summary for October. The target for the entire fiscal year is 16,602 ckm.

So far this financial year, a total of 1,668 ckm of transmission lines have been set up under the central government, while 3,154 ckm have been set up by state government enterprises. The target for the central and state sectors was 2,103 ckm and 6,912 ckm, respectively. The private sector has set up 2,204 ckm of lines during the six months under review, against the target of 2,405 ckm.

In October, the expansion of transmission lines picked up pace and a total of 1,820 ckm was set up, almost twice the target of 962 ckm.

An official aware of the developments said progress on expanding transmission lines was affected by slowdown in areas inhabited by the Great Indian Bustard in Rajasthan and Gujarat, as the Supreme Court had ordered that underground lines or diverters for overhead lines be installed to protect the endangered species.  He, said, however, that the the process should speed up going forward.

The government is looking at expanding and upgrading the transmission system to as it looks to integrate 500 GW of renewable-energy capacity by 2030.

To grow renewable energy capacity, areas with high potential for solar and wind energy need to be connected to the Inter-State Transmission System (ISTS). As the gestation period of wind- and solar-based electricity generation projects is much shorter than the gestation period of the transmission system, this needs to be planned in advance.

The power ministry formed a high-level committee to plan a transmission system that cold have 500 GW of installed renewable-energy capacity by 2030. In March, the ministry accepted the recommendations of the panel, which suggested a number of technological solutions.

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Published: 08 Dec 2023, 06:51 PM IST

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