Econometric Approach to Water Use Estimation in Power Plants

Perini Praveena Sri
Working Paper Series
The purpose of this paper is to examine water use estimation in hydel and thermal electric power plants in selected regions i.e. Coastal, Rayalaseema and Telangana regions of Andhra Pradesh. The study primarily focuses on the realistic fundamental premise thatthermal electric and hydro electric energy generation is responsible for the largest monthly volume of water withdrawals in four seasons (i.e. summer, rainy, winter and post monsoon season) of a year. These enormous water withdrawals by these hydel and thermal power plants can have significant influence on local surface water resources. However there are very few studies of determinants of water use in hydel and thermal electric generation. Analysis of hydel and thermal electric water use data in the existing power plants clearly indicates that there is wide variability in unitary hydel and thermal electric water use within the system. The multivariate regression procedures were used to identify the significant determinants of thermal and hydel water withdrawals in various power plants i.e. five hydel and four thermal power plants. The estimated regression coefficients indicate that the best explanatory variables for the total quantity of hydel water withdrawals are storage capacity, tail water level and actual generation and thermal water withdrawals are condenser cooling and ash disposal. The unit variability of unit water usage indicates that there is significant potential for water conservation in existing power plants. Apart from this as water is no longer available as a free good; it calculates the real value of water in selected power plants using Water Valuation Techniques such as Residual Value and Opportunity costs.
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