India to face more power outage as coal supplies run low
India might be staring at another power crisis as coal supplies have gone low with electricity demand going high.
India might be staring at another power crisis as coal supplies have gone low with electricity demand going high. Supplies across the majority of coal-fired power plants in India have dwindled to just days worth of stock. Data from the Central Electricity Authority said several thermal power plants in the country have low coal supplies. Out of 173 power plants, 96 of them have low levels of coal stock, according to a reports.
Industry experts said India was facing a coal shortage of 9-10 per cent. On average, coal supplies at power plants had fallen with power plants having less than a week of stock.
The data by the Central Electricity Authority showed that 155 non-pithead plants have 28 per cent of actual stock in comparison to normative stock. The data also stated that the "overall stock in 173 power plants stand at 23,524.5 tonne, 35 per cent of the normative stock of 66,720.4 thousand tonne", the report stated.
The shortage of electricity as a percentage of demand has shot up to 1.4 per cent over the last week, a Reuters analysis of government data showed.
Andhra Pradesh declared a power holiday bringing major and minor industries to a grinding halt.
With power deficit hovering around 40-50 Million Units (MU) per day, the power distribution companies (DISCOMs) have resorted to Emergency Load Relief (ELR). While officially the power cuts are for one hour for the domestic sector in villages and half an hour in cities and towns, people have been complaining of outages for several hours every day
.As the demand from the agriculture sector is likely to go down by the month-end with more wind energy likely to be available, officials expect normalcy to be restored soon, according to sources. They also hope that the power cost in the open market will come down, making it easy for the power utilities to bridge the deficit, if any.
The increase in demand is attributed to the resumption of economic activities after the COVID-19 situation came under control, agriculture activity and the summer conditions peaking early this year. The officials pointed out that states like Gujarat have also been forced to declare a power holiday.
Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Bihar, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu and Telangana have also been facing power outage with the surge in demand for electricity. Maharashtra had declared power outages in parts of the state. However, Mumbai and Thane were excluded from this load shedding cuts.
Last year, India had faced another power crisis due to low coal supplies. Out of India's 135 coal plants, 108 faced critically low stocks, with 28 of them down to just one day's worth of supply, according to power ministry data in October last year.
With the power demand going up across the country, there is stiff competition for power purchase in the open market.
Power cuts and shortages over the years have subsided in big cities, but are fairly common in some smaller towns.