'Electricity demand at all-time high of 38 years amid coal shortage in India'

Coal shortages started from October 2021 and currently household electricity demand is at an all-time high of 38 years amid shortage of coal in India.
'Electricity demand at all-time high of 38 years amid coal shortage in India'
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CHENNAI: With scorching heat taking a toll on people, several districts in Tamil Nadu were hit by power outage in the last few days. States, including Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh, have been experiencing similar situations the past few days.

Tangedco also has been facing a steep fall in wind power generation putting the power managers in a fix.

Due to the resultant shortage of domestic coal, it has to resort to import coal at the current historically high prices, for maintaining uninterrupted power supply.

Further, the gap in power generation is also being filled by buying power at high rates in energy exchanges.

Chief Minister M K Stalin, meanwhile, urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to direct the Union Coal Ministry to ensure supply of 72,000 MT coal per day as per the Fuel Supply Agreement at Paradip and Visakhapatnam ports. "Only this step can enable us to maintain uninterrupted power supply in the State and hence I solicit your personal intervention in this regard," Stalin said in a letter to Modi.

V Senthil Balaji, Minister of Electricity, explained in the Tamil Nadu Assembly that the reason for power outage was the non-supply of electricity from the central grid. In a statement, he said that about 750 MW of power supply from the central grid to the southern states was suddenly cut off.

He further explained that in order to overcome the power shortage in some places, action will be taken to immediately increase the productivity of our electricity board and procure from the private sector. The situation in urban areas was immediately rectified and measures have been taken to improve the situation in rural areas in the next 15 minutes, he said.

All India Power Engineers Federation's statement:

Shailendra Dubey president of the All India Power Engineers Federation, said there was a possibility of power outages in 12 states in India. Power generation at coal power plants has been affected due to lack of sufficient coal, thus power outages will occur in 12 states in the coming days.

When it started?

"Coal shortages started from October 2021 and currently household electricity demand is at an all-time high of 38 years amid shortage of coal in India. The power shortage in 2021 was 1.1 per cent, which it rose 1.4 per cent this April. There would be severe power outages in Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Punjab, Jharkhand, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Telangana and Uttarakhand in forthcoming," he said.

Which states will be affected most?

Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Punjab and Jharkhand will have the highest power outages, where the power barrier level will be 3 - 8.7 per cent. Electricity demand in Uttar Pradesh has already crossed 21,000 MW. But, the power supply there is only 19,000 MW.

Ukraine-Russia war:

The Russia-Ukraine military conflict, which has increased energy prices globally, further reduced the propensity to import coal by power plants and hampered the supply of fuel to captive power plants and industries like steel, aluminium from state-owned Coal India. The yearly supply of coal to the non-power sector is just eight per cent and still the non-regulated sector (NRS) is facing fuel shortages.

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