New Delhi: The power demand in Delhi will almost double in the next five years from average requirement of 4,500 MW to 8,700 MW, according to an estimate by the Central Electricity Authority.

The Delhi government, following the projection by the CEA, is contemplating setting up more gas-based power plants with an aim to raise its own generation beyond 4,000 MW from the current 1,000 MW by 2017.

In a report submitted to the Planning Commission identifying priority areas, the city government has also proposed to set up a separate entity to promote solar energy generation in a big way.

The CEA estimate about the increase in power demand has been mentioned by the Delhi government in its recent report to the Planning Commission.

The CEA is a statutory body, which advises the government on matters relating to the National Electricity Policy and formulates short-term and perspective, plans for the development of electricity systems.

"The power demand is increasing very fast in the city. We are in the process of augmenting our own generation considering the future requirement," a senior official of power department said.

At present, Delhi's power demand ranges from 4,100 MW to 4,900 MW depending on the weather condition. The city gets 2,400 MW from central quota, while nearly 1,000 MW is produced by Delhi's own electricity generating stations.

The power demand had touched an all-time high of 4994 MW on June 24. The three private power distribution companies have to procure 1000 MW-1,200 MW of power from the open market.

Delhi's generation of power is expected to swell by another 750 MW when the gas-based Bawana plant starts functioning.

Power Minister Harun Yusuf said the plant is ready to generate power, but it could not be operationalised due to unavailability of gas. He said the plant will start power generation in the next two-three months.

In the report to the Planning Commission, the city government said it plans to increase its own generation to 4,100 MW.

There is also a proposal to set up Delhi Renewable Energy and Power Company to promote solar energy generation in the city.

As part of its environment friendly initiative, Delhi government is working on a proposal under which people will be encouraged to install solar power generation units on their rooftops and they will even be able to sell the excess power to the government.

The initiative, first of its kind in the entire country, is being taken by the environment department of the city government.

Officials said the government is even considering providing subsidy to the people wanting to install solar power generation units on their rooftops.