Aggregate Technical & Commercial (AT&C) losses has been a drag on the overall power in India and despite several reforms, little success has been achieved in reducing the loss levels across the country. Unbundling of state electricity boards into separate generation, transmission and distribution companies was done to promoting greater efficiency by streamlining operations of distribution, transmission, generation and trading, while also promoting transparency and accountability. However, 10 years since unbundling exercises was initiated, no state can claim that it has achieved the overall objective that was to be achieved through restructuring of SEBs. Accelerate Power Development & Reforms Programme (APDRP) that was launched in 2001 to reduce the loss levels to 15% by 2007, failed miserably due to several reasons and there is not even one state that can claim to have reduced the loss levels to 15%. The Restructured- Accelerated Power Development and Reforms Programme (RAPDRP), the most recent power distribution sector reforms seems to be step in right direction but one is not sure whether it will be able to achieve the objective of getting AT&C loss levels across India to 15%.
So, what exactly is required to stem these high AT&C losses, the answer is simple strengthening the power distribution / supply infrastructure & 100% metering across the 4 echelons of power distribution i.e. substation, feeders, distribution transformer and consumer. InfraInsights in its earlier edition of the report on Transformer Market in India had estimated that over 400 GVA of transformer capacity out of the total installed capacity of 1040 GVA would require repair / retrofit / replacement (as of 2012) and the number is slated to increase to 1548 GVA by 2020 out of estimated installed base of 1548 GVA. Overall a major revamp in the power evacuation infrastructure is the need of the hour and this will drive the transformer industry in India over and above the new opportunity that will be required to support the increasing power generation capacity addition.