Indian electricity sector has been in a state of flux from 1990s, when the reforms started with the entry of private power projects. The Enron power project and Odisha state reforms that followed have thrown up many controversial issues. The Electricity Act 2003, prepared with the reform spirit initiated another major policy upheaval in the sector. Today, Electricity Regulatory Commissions are operational in all the states. With all villages electrified and nearly all households connected to the grid, the demand now is for quality power supply. The whole country is connected to one national grid. Renewable energy is no more on the side-lines, and is expected to be a significant source of power. We are witnessing the entry of many new players, introduction of open access and a movement towards cost based tariff. The trend is towards an increasing role of private sector and markets under a regulatory regime. 

A public-spirited citizen, who wishes to respond to this flux and participate in the policy and regulatory processes, is faced with too many new issues. A basic understanding of the technical and economic aspects of the sector is necessary to gain a foothold. An insight into the policy, planning and regulatory processes, along with an appreciation of their linkages with the technical and economic issues, is essential to equip oneself for meaningful engagement with the sector.

This 3rd Revised Edition of the primer, giving a comprehensive macro perspective of the Indian electricity sector, is part of our attempts to assist such citizens in their efforts.

The electronic and the PDF versions of the Primer are available below.