CEA Proposes Guidelines for Utilities to Prepare Energy Demand Forecasts

DISCOMs must factor in open access consumption in demand calculation


The Central Electricity Authority (CEA) has released draft guidelines for utilities to prepare medium- and long-term forecasts to assess the power demand in the country.

Utilities will design the power consumption forecast, including meeting the demand from distributed power sources such as captive power plants and solar rooftops.

The draft proposed that medium-term forecasts must be prepared for over 1 year and up to 5 years, while long-term forecasts must be prepared for over 5 years.

The CEA suggested that the annual growth rate in the past for each energy consumption category should be analyzed.

The draft includes two of the appropriate statistical methods for such purposes: the Least Square Method and the Weighted Average Method, which can be used among other suitable methods depending on the data availability.

The medium-term forecast should be based on assessing the impact of specific government policies, developmental plans, and other emerging aspects in the definite quantum of electrical energy.

All stakeholders must be consulted to prepare the forecasts, including industrial and agricultural departments, municipal corporations, drinking water departments, captive power plant owners, and state nodal agencies for renewable energies.

The CEA further proposed that the forecast should be carried out for at least three scenarios— An optimistic scenario, a Business As Usual scenario, and a Pessimistic scenario.

The forecasting method should analyze past consumption data of each consumer category separately and factor in the impacts of emerging aspects to arrive at appropriate future growth trends.

Since open-access consumers use the network of distribution companies (DISCOM) for power supply, the draft proposes that their power consumption must be attributed to the respective DISCOM.

The energy requirement of a DISCOM/state should be arrived at by adding transmission and distribution (T&D) losses to their total energy consumption.

Also, the draft proposes that the three components of T&D losses— distribution losses, intra-state transmission losses, and inter-state transmission losses — must be analyzed separately as each component normally follows separate trajectories.

The peak demand forecast of a DISCOM or a state must be derived from the energy requirement by applying an appropriate load factor, which is calculated by dividing total electrical energy requirement for a given period by the product of maximum demand and that specific period of time.

The CEA proposed that the total electrical energy requirement of a DISCOM must be worked out by adding its distribution losses and intra-state transmission losses to its total category-wise energy consumption.

For states and peripheries, the electrical energy requirement must be worked out by summing up the T&D losses of each DISCOM and adding it to the state’s total electrical energy consumption.

Last month, Union Power Minister R.K. Singh said that the Ministry of Power has devised a comprehensive strategy to ensure the availability of power during the summer.

He quoted CEA’s estimation of India’s electricity demand that would peak to 229 GW during April 2023 and said that the government outlined several steps that would be undertaken to meet the growing power demands in the coming months.

The all-India peak power demand reached an all-time high of 201.1 GW on April 26, 2022, surpassing the peak power demand of 200.5 GW met on July 7, 2021.