The total consumption of electricity in the country is 12,420 crore units. There is a possibility of a reduction of up to 33 percent in the supply after the coal runs out. To deal with the crisis, the government has estimated the consumption of 700 metric tonnes of coal and has given supply instructions.
Like China, there is a possibility of a power crisis in the country. Experts have given this warning after assessing the coal availability data released by the Union Ministry of Power and other agencies. According to the ministry, out of 135 thermal power plants in the country, 72 have only three days more coal to generate electricity.
These plants generate 66.35 percent of the total electricity consumption. In this context, there can be a reduction of 33 percent in the total consumption with the closure of 72 plants. According to the government, before Corona, in August-September 2019, there was a daily consumption of 10,660 crore units of electricity in the country, which has increased to 12,420 crore units in August-September 2021.
During that time, 61.91 percent of the total consumption was being generated in thermal power plants. Due to this, the consumption of coal in these plants has also increased by 18% in two years.
Signs of concern here too
Of the remaining 50 plants, four have only 10 days of coal left and 13 have a little more than 10 days of coal left over.
Imported coal three times more expensive
- The price of Indonesian imported coal has tripled from $60 a tonne to $200 in two years. Due to this, imports have been decreasing since 2019-20 itself. But then it was completed by domestic production.
- Step: Monitoring committee formed by the central government
- The Center has constituted a committee headed by the Ministry of Coal to review the stock twice a week. A core management team of Central Electricity Authority, Coal India Ltd., Power System Operation Corporation, Railways and Ministry of Power has also been formed, which is monitoring daily.
In the eyes of the government, the situation worsened
- Economy improved: Although it is positive, but due to this the demand for electricity in the country increased rapidly.
- Heavy rain in coal mine areas: Heavy rains in September affected production and supply.
- Prices increased: Due to costly coal, procurement limited, production also less.
- No stock before monsoon: According to the government, companies should have taken this step in advance.
- Heavy liability on states: Huge dues of companies on UP, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh.
The sound of the coal crisis was received in August
The assessment of the coal crisis had come only two months ago, when even on August 1, there were only 13 days of coal storage left. At that time thermal plants were affected and in the last week of August, there was a reduction of 13,000 MW in power generation. The CMT intervention had improved the situation then, but there is still a shortfall of 6960 MW in production. In fact, as the second wave of corona subsided, industrial activities started gaining momentum and along with it the consumption of coal also increased.
- The demand for electricity will continue to increase, so these measures are being taken
- The government expects that the demand for electricity will continue to grow. Therefore, it is necessary to increase the daily coal supply more than the consumption.
- The government has estimated the consumption of 700 metric tonnes of coal and has given supply instructions.
- The CEA recommended giving priority to power companies that are below the supply list and those with regular payments for non-payment of coal dues.