Energy is a vital component for sustained economic growth and the energy mix is an indicator of sustainable development of a State and the country. Also proportionate growth in power sector is essential to maintain the economic growth. With enhanced modernization, industrialization and change in life style; the energy demand has increased several folds in across the last decade. Energy demand across the country is met primarily through conventional energy resources which not only raises the concern on energy security but also results in increased accumulation of greenhouse gas in the atmosphere. As per IPCC Fifth Assessment Report Green House Gas emissions resulting from provision of energy services have contributed significantly to the phenomenal increase in atmospheric concentration of Green House Gas concentration. Thus, the States with high dependency on conventional energy sources for meeting the energy demand contribute significantly to environmental degradation. Through, the demand for energy to meet economic development exists; a strategy should be developed towards lowering the Green House Gas emissions from the energy system besides satisfying the global demand for energy services. Increasing the share of renewable sources in the existing energy generation mix is assessed as the best possible option towards meeting the global energy supply challenge. The action plan proposed under State energy mission while catering to the objective of national solar mission aimed at enabling communities to understand the uncertainty of future climatic conditions and engage them effectively in a process of developing adaptation and mitigation programmes.
The State is currently focused on generation through big hydro power project. Potential of micro Hydel power and Solar are increasingly being tapped. Grid electricity penetration in remote hilly areas of J&K is techno-economically unviable by virtue of geographical disadvantages and scattered household pattern. Moreover, the power sector of the State is already facing difficulties like slow rate of capacity addition, poor power evacuation facility, high AT&C losses and mismatch in load profile. Power utilization mix is not commensurate with the State's climatic conditions. Promotion and utilization of renewable energy is the most feasible solution which would also promote low carbon growth and can meet the decentralized energy requirement of the remote locations.
The State is largely dependent on the power generated from hydropower projects and thermal power plants besides supplements from DG set. Jammu & Kashmir has a total power generation capacity of 2,648.46 MW under central and State sector. The State is heavily relying on power purchase from the NEWNE grid and thermal power generation units and gas and diesel based power units during winters when its own hydro power generation reduces and power demand rises. The State is facing power crisis owing to untapped renewable energy, high rate of AT&C losses including pilferage.
Out of total power demand of 17,323 million units, power generation from the State owned power houses is only 2,562.723 million units. Bulk of electricity consumption in the State is by the domestic sector. With modernization and increased urbanization, per capita energy consumption of the State has increased from 849.98 kWh in 2010-11 to 882.82 kWh in 2011-12. The energy demand has gradually increased during last five years at an annual rate of 5 to 6%. According to the sixteenth All India Power Survey, the power requirement of the State is expected to reach 19,500 million units during 2020-21.
The primary sources of cooking fuel in rural areas of Jammu & Kashmir are firewood and chips followed by LPG. Urban cooking fuel demand is mainly met through LPG. Electricity is the main energy source for urban lighting. The scenario is same in the rural areas too; kerosene is being seldom used as an alternative. Although the State is fairly electrified with 97% of villages lit, but providing continuous power at cheaper rate is difficult.
Sector Wise Energy Consumption
Domestic consumers as a whole are the major electricity consuming sector in the state with cumulative consumption in tune of 34%. The category-wise energy consumption is given in the table below.
Table 1: Category wise Electrical Energy Consumption
(Data Source: State Action Plan on climate Change, J&K)