How rains, lack of foresight of power producers & states caused a power crisis in India

How rains, lack of foresight of power producers & states caused a power crisis in India


India has installed base of 388-Gw, including 202-Gw projects based only on coal. The country managed 200 Gw of peak demand on July 7 this year, when the coal stocks were just enough, and rains had not disrupted coal supplies. Also, the 17,600-Mw imported coal-based projects were functional then. The immediate crisis seems largely fuel-related with prolonged monsoons impacting coal mining and high cost of imported coal rendering such fuel-based capacity unviable. However, coal stocking data shows, lack of adequate planning by states, non-payment of dues to accentuated the supply issues. States did not build stocks through the year when there were supplies available, significantly contributing to the crisis. Sarita C Singh looks at the crisis:

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This quickly depleted stocks at power plants despite high production as…

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States, power producers worsened the situation by not building stocks in time

The country faced a similar crisis albeit at comparatively lesser scale post monsoon 2018. Yet in 2021, coal stocks in March were less than that in 2018. Two years of low demand as economy battled slowdown and then Covid and the possibility of a third wave that could have dampened demand, contributed to power plants carrying less coal. Coal India also regulated supplies to defaulting generation companies.

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