India's per capita power consumption among lowest: Venugopal

The Centre proposes to improve the per capita consumption of power to above 1,000 units, Venugopal said, addressing a conference on opportunities in the power sector here.

As per estimates, India's per capita power consumption stood at around 733 units in 2008-09, much lower than the world average of 2,800 units.

"The per capita consumption of the country has increased from 631 units in 2005-06 to 733 units in 2008-09...," according to a recent report by the power ministry report.

Venugopal also said the north-eastern region has been blessed with rich hydro-power potential of more than 58,000 MW, equivalent to about 40 per cent of untapped hydro opportunity in the country.

He noted that since more than 75 per cent of power is generated from coal and gas based stations, the development of hydro potential would be very important.

"Meghalaya is blessed with coal reserves, Tripura and Assam form good abodes of natural gas reserves," Venugopal said, adding that the north-eastern region is rich in power potential, but the execution of hydro project has always been a difficult task.

This is due to the geological surprises which is one of the major challenges faced by many of the hydro projects, especially in the Himalayan region.

"There are also other general issues affecting hydro execution like forest clearances and land acquisition delays," Venegopal said.

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