Power – Meaning, sources, Challenges class 12 Economics

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What is Power (Electricity), What are the main sources of power generation in India

What is Power (Electicity)?

The Most Visible form of energy, which is often identified with Progress in Modern civilization is power commonly called electricity.

It is a critical component of infrastructure that determines the economic development of a country.

Significance of Power (Electricity) in Economy

Following are the importance of electricity in the economic growth of a country.

  • In order to attain economic development, power is required in every step.
  • With the gradual development of various sectors of the economy, the demand for power is increasing year after year.
  • The growth rate of demand for power is generally higher than the GDP growth rate. In order to have an 8% GDP growth per annum, the power supply needs to grow around 12% annually.
  • In order to meet this increasing power requirement, a huge amount of investment is regularly being made in the development of power projects.

What are the three basic sources of generating power class 12 Economics?

Following are the three major sources of electricity (power) generation in India.

Thermal power:-

When power is generated out of coal, oil, and natural gas, it is termed thermal power. It is the major source of electricity and accounts for 67% (in 2016) of total power.

Hydro-electric Power:-

When power is generated from the waters of fast-flowing rivers or high dams, it is termed hydroelectric power. It is the cheapest among all the three sources and it has no pollution agent. It is a renewable source of energy.

Nuclear or Atomic Power:-

When power is generated from radioactive elements like uranium, thorium, and plutonium, It is termed nuclear or atomic power.

It is the next most up-to-date source of power, whose generation has started mostly from the source of power, whose generation has started mostly from 1070-71. Atomic energy has environmental advantages and is also likely to be economical in the long run.

What is Power Generation Capacity of Various Sources in India

In order to keep pace with the growing demand for power from various sectors, a number of steps have been taken to increase power generation. As a result, the generation of power in thermal, hydroelectric, and nuclear projects has increased considerably.

The installed power generation capacity increased from 1,700 Megawatts (MW) in 1950-51 to 1,24,300 MW at the end of 2005-06.

Table Showing Power Generation Capacity in India (2016)

Thermal Power67.00
Hydro-electric Power13.60
Nuclear Power2.10
New and Renewable Energy17.30

Thermal Power:-

In India, the biggest source of Power generation is thermal power. 67% of the power generation capacity comes from thermal sources.

Hydro-electric Power:-

Hydroelectric power accounts for 13.60% of total power generation capacity.

Nuclear Power:-

Nuclear Power accounts for only 2.10% of the total installed capacity of electricity. Some scholars suggest generating more electricity through atomic sources, while few others object to this, from the viewpoint of environment and sustainable development.

Problems (Challenges) faced by Power sector in India class 12

Following are the Emerging Challenges in Power Generation faced by India.

Inadequate electricity Generation:-

India’s installed capacity to generate electricity is not sufficient to feed an annual economic growth of 7-8%. In order to meet the growing demand for electricity, India’s commercial energy supply needs to grow by about 7%. At present India is able to add only 2,00,000 MW a year.

Underutilisatoin of installed capacity:-

The installed capacity is underutilized as plants to not run properly. During excess demand, the operational efficiency of power projects is re

Poor performance of State Electricity Boards:-

State electricity Boards, which distribute electricity, incur losses that exceed ₹ 500 billion. this is due to transmission and distribution losses, wrong pricing of electricity, and other operational inefficiencies.

A large portion of these losses is due to theft of power and free supply of power to agriculture.

Shortage of Inputs:-

Thermal power plants, which are the foundation of India’s power sector, are facing a shortage of raw material and coal supplies.

Limited role of Private and Foreign Entrepreneurs:-

Private Sector power generators and foreign investors are yet to play their role in a major way.

Transmission and Distribution (T&D) Losses:-

Electricity generated by various power stations is not entirely consumed by ultimate consumers, a part of it is consumed by power station auxiliaries.

Also, while transmitting power, a portion is lost in transmission. Such energy losses occur in the process of supplying electricity to consumers due to ‘Technical and ‘Commercial’ losses.

Lack of Public Cooperation:-

There is general public unrest due to high power tariffs and prolonged power cuts in different parts of the country.

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Anurag Pathak
Anurag Pathak

Anurag Pathak is an academic teacher. He has been teaching Accountancy and Economics for CBSE students for the last 18 years. In his guidance, thousands of students have secured good marks in their board exams and legacy is still going on. You can subscribe his youtube channel and can download the Android & ios app for free lectures.

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