The amount of power consumed in a country is an index of its technological development. The progress of all sector of the economy is proportional to the availability of power. Hydro-electric power is the main source on which most nations depend. Hydro-electric power is needed for turning the wheels of industries, for transportation, for carrying on agricultural operations and for keeping the hearths and homes warm.
Thirty-seven percent of the power came from the common pool projects and the rest from its own projects. About 27 percent of the total energy of the state is provided by the Ropar Thermal Plant while the Bhakra Nangal complex provided 20.3 percent of the total power for the state and the Guru Nanak Thermal plant at Bhatinda accounts for about 21 percent of the energy to the state. Other important sources of power are the Dehar Power plant (13 percent), Shanan Power house at Joginder Nagar (5 percent), Pong Power project (4percent) and UBDC power houses (2 percent).
The common pool projects are the Bhakra Nangal Complex, the Dehar Power plant and the Pong Power plant. Punjab shares about 51 percent of the Power generated from the Bhakra Nangal Complex. 48 percent from the Power generated at the Pong Project.
a. Bhakra Nangal Complex: The Bhakra Nangal project is the most prestigious hydro-electric project of India which harnesses the waters of river Sutlej. The Bhakra Nangal project not only provides electric power to Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan but also to common pool consumers like the Nangal fertilizer factory, the Delhi Electric Supply undertaking, to Himachal Pradesh and to Jammu and Kashmir.
b. The Upper Bari Doab Canal System (UBDC): Constructed on River Ravi, north of Pathankot, is the second source of hydroelectricity for the state.
c. The Shanan Power House: This power house is installed on River Ohel and is situated at Joginder Nagar in Himachal Pradesh.
In Punjab there are two big thermal plants:
a. Guru Nanak Thermal Plants: It was completed in 1974. The Guru Nanak Thermal plant has four units of 440 MW capacity. This is one of the most efficiently run thermal plants in the country.
b. Ropar Thermal Plant: The Ropar Thermal project is located at a distance of 11 kilometers from the Ropar- Nagal highway. This project consists of two units capable of generating 210 MW each. The plant is spread over an area of about 2,500 acres on the banks of River Sutlej.