CEA Guidelines to Evaluate Energy Demand Forecast

CEA Guidelines to Evaluate Energy Demand Forecast in the Country

The main objective of these forecasts is to encompass a wide range of electricity demand projections, covering not only the utility system but also the entire power consumption landscape. This includes factoring in the demand met by various distributed power sources, such as captive power projects and rooftop solar installations. By adopting this inclusive approach, the power sector is expected to gain a more holistic and comprehensive perspective.

The CEA stresses the importance of collaborative efforts in the preparation of these projections. It calls for active involvement and coordination with all relevant stakeholders. This list includes various departments, such as industrial, agricultural, municipal corporations, drinking water, weather, transport departments, and various other departments as well. Moreover, the guidelines mandate cooperation with organizations like the Bureau of Energy Efficiency, state planning departments, captive power project owners, state nodal agencies for renewable energies, and any other entity responsible for planning and implementing electrical energy-intensive programs.

By fostering collaboration and inclusivity, these guidelines aim to ensure that the electricity demand projections are as accurate and reliable as possible. This, in turn, will facilitate better planning and decision-making in the power sector, ultimately contributing to a more sustainable and efficient energy future for the country.

These forecasts will span both medium-term (ranging from one to five years) and long-term (at least ten years) periods.

The CEA emphasizes conducting power demand forecasting every five years, with yearly reviews to ensure precision. The forecasting process will primarily take place at the DISCOM level, and whenever possible, more detailed levels like zonal, circle, district, substation, feeder, or transformer levels will also be considered if sufficient granular level data is available.

To ensure a comprehensive analysis, the guidelines recommend incorporating at least three scenarios into the forecasting process: an optimistic scenario, a business-as-usual scenario, and a pessimistic scenario. 

Consumption categories will be identified based on the existing tariff structure within each DISCOM. These categories encompass domestic, commercial, public lighting, public water works, irrigation, low tension (LT) industries, high tension (HT) industries, railways, bulk supply, and open access.

In the medium-term forecasts, the focus extends beyond historical growth trends. The guidelines emphasize evaluating the potential impact of specific government policies, developmental plans, and other emerging factors on overall electricity consumption.

Similarly, the long-term forecasts will not solely rely on past growth trends. They will also take into account the effects of specific government policies, developmental plans, and emerging factors on the definite quantum of electrical energy. By considering a holistic range of factors, the power demand forecasts aim to provide more accurate insights and enable better planning for the future of the electricity sector.

Forecast Methodology 

To effectively analyze the annual growth rate of each energy consumption category in the past, experts recommend employing two suitable statistical methods: the Least Square Method and the Weighted Average Method. Alternatively, advanced statistical tools can be utilized for a more comprehensive analysis of growth rates.

When examining past growth trends for transmission and distribution (T&D) losses to estimate future trends accurately, a prudent approach involves analyzing the three components of T&D losses individually. This includes distribution losses, intrastate transmission losses, and interstate transmission losses.

Guidelines emphasize the importance of considering specific factors when anticipating a significant reduction in T&D losses over a short period due to planned measures such as extensive meter installations. In such cases, it’s vital not to view the reduction in losses in isolation. Rather, it’s essential to account for the expected shift of some unmetered load to metered load under different consumer categories. This comprehensive evaluation ensures a more accurate assessment of the impact of these measures.

If energy efficiency is projected to follow similar historical patterns in the future, it need not be separately considered, as it is already inherent in the historical time series data.

However, if significant changes in energy efficiency are anticipated in the future due to factors like major technological breakthroughs or the implementation of significant government policies, then these impacts should be taken into account as additional factors in the forecasting process.

To determine the energy requirement of a DISCOM (Distribution Company), T&D losses should be added to their total energy consumption. Subsequently, the peak demand forecast for a DISCOM can be derived from the energy requirement figure, taking into consideration an appropriate load factor.

Impact of Emerging Aspects 

Accurately measuring the impact of emerging factors is crucial to align with the predefined government targets. In cases where specific targets have not been set, it becomes essential to establish appropriate assumptions and transparently articulate them.

To ensure a comprehensive evaluation of demand impact, especially when government targets are provided annually, a meticulous assessment should be conducted on various time scales, including monthly, daily, hourly, or even on a time-block basis.

Efforts should be made to allocate the effects of emerging factors to the relevant pre-defined consumption categories whenever feasible. This approach will enhance the understanding of the dynamics involved and facilitate better decision-making processes.

Energy Requirement of a DISCOM 

Calculating the total electrical energy requirement of a DISCOM involves a comprehensive consideration of distribution losses and intra-state transmission losses combined with the overall category-wise electrical energy consumption.

Distribution losses for a DISCOM are calculated by determining the difference between the net input energy to its system and the total energy consumed by its own consumers, including any energy consumed by open access consumers transmitted through its network.

As for intrastate transmission losses across the entire state, these losses are allocated proportionally among the different DISCOMs based on their respective energy requirements (i.e., energy consumption + distribution losses) in cases where multiple DISCOMs are operating within the state. This ensures a fair distribution of transmission losses among the various utility providers.

Energy Requirement of a State 

When it comes to determining the electrical energy requirement of a state, a comprehensive approach is essential. The first step involves assessing the Transmission and Distribution (T&D) losses of each DISCOM operating within the state. By summing up these losses, we can gauge the total energy loss at the state’s periphery, which is crucial for accurate energy planning.

Next, to ascertain the overall electrical energy consumption of the state, we must consider the cumulative energy consumption of all its DISCOMs. This involves calculating the energy consumed by each DISCOM and then summing up these values to arrive at the state’s total energy consumption figure.

For a more holistic perspective, it’s essential to address interstate transmission losses as well. To do this, we take into account the projected electrical energy that states are expected to import from the national grid. This estimation is based on historical data, particularly the energy ratio that states imported in relation to their previous energy requirements.

By incorporating these factors into our energy requirement calculations, we can develop a more accurate and comprehensive picture of a state’s energy needs. This approach ensures that we account for T&D losses, individual DISCOM consumption, and interstate transmission losses, leading to informed and efficient energy planning for each state.

Peak Demand 

Determining the peak demand forecast for a Distribution Company (DISCOM) involves a careful assessment of its energy requirements and the application of an appropriate load factor. To calculate the load factor, divide the total electrical energy requirement for a specific period by the product of the maximum demand and that period.

The Central Electricity Authority (CEA) recommends considering past trends to estimate suitable load factors for the upcoming years. However, it is essential to account for any anticipated changes in the consumer mix. If the expected consumer mix pattern differs from the past, the projected load factor should be derived by analyzing load factors from other DISCOMs that share a similar consumer mix.

To estimate the peak electricity demand of a state, one must also apply an appropriate diversity factor to the sum of the peak electricity demand of all its DISCOMs. This diversity factor should be based on historical trends and allows for a more accurate assessment of the state’s overall peak demand.

By carefully considering both load factors and diversity factors, DISCOMs and state electricity authorities can make informed decisions and effectively plan for the future energy requirements.

Other Factors 

Maintaining a load factor below one is crucial for a Distribution Company (DISCOM). Particularly when supplying electricity to industrial loads like aluminum and other process industries, which tend to have high electric load factors, it becomes essential to achieve a high overall system load factor.

The total Transmission and Distribution (T&D) losses for a state (excluding interstate transmission losses) should be the aggregate of all the DISCOMs’ T&D losses. To ensure precision and consistency, cross-verifying the input data for energy requirements from both the demand and supply sides is necessary.

For a state, the energy requirement met at its periphery must be equivalent to the total net generation within the state, considering all sources feeding the grid, along with the net electricity import from outside the state.

In April of this year, the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission made significant advancements by broadening the scope of operation for the Reserve Regulation Ancillary Services Regulations of 2015. This move aims to ensure sufficient power reserves with the system operator to effectively manage peak demand periods.