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Some Thoughts on the Peculiar Nature of Punjab’s Power Sector Problems

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Akali Dal-BSP 'Pankhi' Protest Against Power Cuts in Punjab (courtesy: The Tribune ) It is election season in Punjab, and as usual, the power cuts stretching for hours in a day are becoming a source of much-heated debate among political parties. From claims of most expensive power to faulty agreements signed by previous governments and some innovative methods of protest, everything is up for grabs. However, lost in the din are several peculiarities and problems of the state’s ailing power sector that are not being resolved in the right manner. Peculiar Demand Curve Punjab has an extremely varied demand curve through the year. Power demand of the state in the summers is exactly double the winter’s power demand. As Bhupinder Singh and Malkit Singh pointed out in 2017: One of the reasons for the low utilisation of state plants is the peculiar load curve of Punjab, which varies from 5000-6000 MW in the winter to 10000-11500 MW in the summer. The state plants come into operation on