Coal shortage: Impending power crisis casts dark shadow over many states in India
An energy crisis is looming in some states, including Delhi and Punjab, due to a combination of factors such as excess rainfall hitting coal movement and imported coal-based power plants generating less than half of their capacity due to record high rates.
Power plants across the country regulated generation after stock ran low. Against the requirement of maintaining 15 days to 30 days of stocks, over half of the country’s 135 coal-fired power plants, which in total supply around 70 per cent of the nation’s electricity, have fuel stocks of less than two days, as per the data from the grid operator.
List of states facing coal shortage:
Andhra Pradesh: Andhra Pradesh has been meeting grid demand of about 185-190 mega units (MU) daily. Power generation stations operated by APGENCO, which supply about 45 per cent of the state’s energy needs, hardly have coal stocks for 1 day and generation from these could be impacted further.
Punjab: Power supply situation continued to remain grim in Punjab with the state-owned utility PSPCL on Sunday saying up to three-hour daily power cuts will remain in the state till October 13. Severe coal shortage has forced the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited to cut down power generation and impose load shedding. Because of depleted coal stock, the coal-fired power plants are operating at less than 50 per cent of their generation capacity, said officials.
Kerala: State government may have to resort to load-shedding in case shortage of power from the Central pool continues for a long time due to non-availability of coal for the thermal power plants. For the past few days, the State has been experiencing a shortage of 15 percent of power from the Central pool due to the closure of four thermal stations due to coal shortage.
Rajasthan: Rajasthan is resorting to one hour power cuts on a daily basis. Tata Power, which has signed contracts to supply 1,850 MW of electricity to Gujarat, 475 MW to Punjab, 380 MW to Rajasthan, 760 MW to Maharashtra and 380 MW to Haryana from its imported coal-based power plant at Mundra in Gujarat, has stopped generation.
Tamil Nadu: The Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (Tangedco) said that power will be suspended in parts of Chennai for carrying out maintenance work in the city.
Delhi: Tata Power Distribution Ltd (TPDDL), which supplies electricity to parts of the national capital, warned of intermittent rotational power cuts as units supplying electricity to Delhi discoms have coal stocks to meet generation requirements for 1-2 days, its CEO Ganesh Srinivasan said.
Meanwhile, Jharkhand and Bihar are also among the worst affected by the coal shortage. How the country will tide over this crisis and how the Central Government will deal with the current coal shortage is something only time will tell.
TEJASWINI PAGADALA is an independent communications consultant. She has previously worked with the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister’s Office as the Communications Officer where she has written English speeches for the CM, managed English media communication from the CMO and handled social media accounts of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and the Government.