India struggles with electricity transmission and distribution (T&D) losses, however the country has taken some measures to curtail these losses, the U.S.' Energy Information Administration (EIA) said Thursday.
T&D losses mean that the generated electricity does not reach customers due to theft, or technical inefficiencies such as resistance in wires and equipment.
India has one of the world's highest levels of electricity T&D losses, the EIA said, which account for almost 20 percent of the country's total electricity generation. This is more than twice the world average, and nearly three times as large as T&D losses in the U.S. For instance, in places with good technical efficiency and low theft, T&D losses range around 6 to 8 percent, the EIA noted
"Most of India's T&D losses result from theft, which occurs when consumed electricity is not accounted for. Electricity is typically stolen by either bypassing or tampering with meters or through bribing utility meter readers or billing agents," EIA said.
However India has taken some significant steps in recent years to avoid T&D losses.
In 2011, when the Indian government bailed out distribution companies, it set up the $1.3 billion National Electricity Fund to promote investment in the power distribution sector. This fund financially rewards companies that reduce electricity losses and meet regulatory goals.
In addition, the government has adopted new regulations and technologies to fight against losses. With new information technology, monitoring of both equipment and the electricity grid system is possible.
"By the end of 2013, each of the country's five regional grids was interconnected to operate synchronously," EIA said, adding "India has also more than doubled the mileage and capacity of high-capacity, high-voltage, and direct-current lines since 2002, as these lines experience fewer losses over long distances than alternating-current lines."
By Ovunc Kutlu