Maharashtra is a state in the western region of India and is the nation’s third largest state and also the world’s second-most populous sub-national entity. Its population makes Maharashtra one of the largest energy users of country. Electricity demand of Maharashtra is high; the state constitutes 13.91% of the total installed electricity generation capacity in India. 
In today’s world to keep a check on the country’s growth we need to study the lifestyle of the people. The available facilities to the peoples are one of the determinants of growth and development in the country. There has been constant increase in the setup of industries in Maharashtra. For example-
- Automobile industries in Pune, Mumbai and Aurangabad
- IT sector industries in Navi-Mumbai and Pune
- Food processing Factories in Ahamadnagar, Nasik, Kolhapure, Satar
Show that the state is developing with an increasing rate. These industries need large power for Production & proper functioning. To meet the demands and needs of these industries the Government of Maharashtra has been establishing Power Plants across the state. These Power Plants are mainly categorized depending on the resources used for generating power. They are Thermal, Nuclear, Solar, Hydro, Tidal (Wind) etc.
In past, the electricity demand of Maharashtra was fulfilled by Maharashtra State Electricity Board (MSEB). MSEB was set up in the year 1960 to generate, transmit and distribute power to people in Maharashtra, except Mumbai (because there are some private companies in Mumbai, who also provides electricity). Maharashtra State Electricity Board (or MSEB) is a state-owned electricity regulation board operating within the state of Maharashtra in India. On June 6, 2005 Maharashtra State Electricity Board (MSEB) has been restructured into four companies. These companies include- MSEB Holding Company, Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company (MAHAVITARAN), Maharashtra State Electricity Transmission Company (MAHAPARESHAN) and Maharashtra State Electricity Generation Company (MAHAGENCO). As shown in below fig-1. The state of Maharashtra forms a major constituent of the western grid of India, which now comes under North, East, West and North Eastern (NEWNE) grid of India. 
GENERATION CAPACITY OF MAHARASHTRA
By 31 July 2015, Maharashtra has 38,372.83 MW of installed capacity. Out of this, 28,145.20 MW generate from thermal (coal & gas) plants, 690.14 MW from nuclear plants, 3,331.84 MW from hydro plants and 6,205.65 from Renewable Energy Sources (RES) like solar, wind etc. Fuel-wise installed capacity in Maharashtra is given below. 
MAHAGENCO has an installed capacity of 12,237 MW. This comprises Thermal (nearly 73%, i.e., 8,980 MW) and a gas-based generating station at Uran, having an installed capacity of 672 MW. The Hydro-lectric projects in the State of Maharashtra have capacity of 2,585 MW. 
MAHAGENCO is simultaneously implementing capacity additions program of about 9,320 MW. Project execution works of 3,230 MW are in full swing and 6,090 MW projects are in advanced stage of planning. It is also working in the area of power generation from non-conventional energy resources, and has clear vision for Green Power for the consumers of Maharashtra.
Private sectors have also installed their power generating units in Maharashtra like TATA Power, Adani Power and Reliance Infrastructure etc.
Table 3- shows the list of installed power plant by private companies
(As on 31-July 2015)
Source: Ministry of Power Govt. of India.
Renewable Energy Scenario of Maharashtra
The government has aware about renewable energy sources, so state government has been taking various initiatives to increase the power generation through renewable energy. Maharashtra state government established Maharashtra Energy Development Agency (MEDA) to undertake development of renewable energy. MEDA did lot of work in the field of renewable energy focusing on rural areas.
Currently, total installed Renewable Capacity in the state of Maharashtra is 6,145 MW. Maharashtra is one of the top states in India in term of the installed renewable electricity capacity. The state has conventional electricity capacity of 24,105 MW. Renewable energy has 16% share in total electricity generation capacity of the state. Wind energy dominant in all form of renewable energy in the state followed by co-generation, solar and small hydro.
Wind power potential in the country is about 49,130 MW, while in Maharashtra it is 5,439 MW. Sites with Annual Mean Wind Density above 200 W/m2 are considered suitable for wind power projects. 339 such sites have been identified in the country, of which 40 sites are in Maharashtra.
Maharashtra is one of the prominent states considering the installation of wind power projects second to Tamil Nadu in India. As on 30/09/2014, installed capacity of wind energy is 4167.26 MW. As of now there are 50 developers registered with state nodal agency “Maharashtra energy Development Agency” for development of wind power projects. All the major manufacturers of wind turbines including Suzlon, Vestas, Gamesa, Regen, Leitner Shriram have presence in Maharashtra. According to Maharashtra Renewable Energy Policy 2015, target of 5000 MW wind energy plants installation in state.
Among the renewable sources of energy, solar energy has a huge potential for power generation in Maharashtra. There are 250-300 days of clear sun with an available average radiation of 4 to 6 kWh/sq. meter over a day. There is a capacity to generate 1.5 million units/MW/year through solar photovoltaic systems & up to 2.5 million units/MW/ year through solar thermal systems. MAHAGENCO has commissioned 130 MWp Solar Power Projects till date. MAHAGENCO aspires to increase its solar portfolio from current 130 MWp to 450 MWp by end of the year 2015-16. Currently, installed capacity of solar energy plants in Maharashtra is 378.7 MWp, which is 9.2% of total installed capacity of solar plants in India.
If you want to have idea about the potentioal of solar energy in India you can read our article here –The Sun Shines Brighter- Solar Energy Potential In India
The actual energy shortage in Maharashtra are 0.3% MW of peak demand, lower than the estimated energy surplus of 3.5% in year 2015-16 according to ministry of power. Overall, the electricity scenario is not good in the state and needs further investment to increase power generation. Based on the current status of fossil fuel supply to the power plants, it is difficult to rely on a single source of energy in the years ahead. Renewable energy should be the future of energy sector in Maharashtra and also in the entire country. And therefore Central as well as state government are providing various subsides to encourage generation & use of Renewable energy. The collective encouragement to the Renewable energy sector can help to resolve electricity supply position in the state of Maharashtra.
That’s all for this article we will see you guys in our next article.