India’s October power supply deficit worst since March 2016
The October shortfall was already the biggest in absolute terms for a single month since November 2018, even with 19 days of October still left.
Northern states such as Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, and the eastern states of Jharkhand and Bihar, were the worst affected, registering supply deficits of 2.3%-14.7%.
Increased economic activity after the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic has driven up demand for coal leading to a supply shortage, forcing northern states such as Bihar, Rajasthan and Jharkhand to cut power for up to 14 hours a day.
India has asked power producers to import up to 10% of their coal needs to blend with domestic coal and has warned states of electricity supply curbs if they are found selling on power exchanges to cash in on surging prices.
India’s dependence on coal-fired power increased to 69.6% in October from 66.5% in September, the data showed, exacerbating the coal shortage amid a decline in output from other sources such as wind and hydro.
More than 60% of India’s 135 coal-fired power plants have fuel stocks of less than three days. The share of output from renewable energy so far in October fell to 8.34% from 11.33% in September, while hydro energy output fell by 1.3 percentage points, the data showed.