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May, 2010

Sector structure

As the Indian economy continues to surge ahead, its power sector has been expanding concurrently to support the growth rate. The demand for power is growing exponentially and the scope for the growth of this sector is immense.

According to the Ministry of Power, India's total installed capacity as on March 31, 2010 is 159,398.49 mega watt (MW). Thermal power plants account for 102,453.98 MW, followed by hydro power plants with a capacity of 36,863.40 MW. Renewable energy sources provide 15,521.11 MW of power and the remaining 4,560 MW comes from nuclear energy.

Within the thermal power plants, coal-based power plants have an installed capacity of 84,198.38 MW, gas-based have a capacity of 17,055.85 MW and diesel-based have a capacity of 1,199.75 MW.

Renewable energy sources include small hydro projects (2,604.92 MW), biomass gasifier and biomass power (2,167.73 MW), urban and industrial water power and solar (101.01 MW) and wind energy (10,647.45 MW).

According to the Ministry of Power, a total of 34 projects were commissioned during 2009-10 with a total capacity of 9,585 MW. These include 31 thermal power plants with a total capacity of 9,106 MW, one hydro power plant with a capacity 39 MW, and two nuclear power plants with a combined capacity of 440 MW.

According to the Ministry, 18 power plants were commissioned in 2008-09 with a total capacity of 3,453.7 MW which included 10 thermal power plants with a capacity of 2,484.7 MW and eight hydro power plants with a capacity of 969 MW.

Growth Potential

As per the Economic Survey 2009-10, the Eleventh Five Year Plan envisaged an additional capacity of 78,700 MW of which 19.9 per cent was hydro, 75.8 per cent thermal and the rest was nuclear. As of December 31, 2009, 43,282 MW was under construction.

Public sector power major National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) is planning to scale up its capacity from the present 30,000 MW to 75,000 MW by 2017.

India has launched its ambitious solar energy mission which aims to generate 20,000 MW of solar power by 2022.


According to the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), the power sector has attracted foreign direct investment (FDI) worth US$ 1.34 billion during April to February 2009-10. The cumulative FDI received by the power sector between April 2000 and February 2010 was US$ 4.53 billion.

According to data released by Venture Intelligence, a Chennai-based research company, private equity (PE) investments in the country's power sector were worth US$ 1.1 billion in 2009-10 with the total number of deals being 27.