With the onset of summer, the power crisis in the country may increase further. The reason for this is the shortage of coal. Industrial activities are also expected to be affected due to power cuts. The country’s economy is struggling to recover from the loss of corona and lockdown, so there may be a brake on recovering from the crisis.
What is the current status of the power crisis? Which states are facing this crisis? What is the state of power crisis in which state? What is the preparation of governments to face the crisis? Could the situation get worse? Will the Russo-Ukrainian war have any effect on this crisis? Why did this happen for the second time in six months? let’s find out
What is the current status of the power crisis?
In the last one week, the supply has fallen by 1.4 per cent against the demand for electricity. Which is more than the October crisis. At that time there was a one percent drop in demand and supply. The crisis arose because of the shortage of coal in the country at that time. Supply was 0.5 per cent lower than demand in March.
Which states are facing this crisis?
The impact of this crisis has started showing in states like Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat. Andhra Pradesh, which has plants ranging from automobiles to pharmaceutical companies, has seen an 8.7 per cent fall in supply against demand for electricity. Due to this the power cut has increased. The power plants had only nine days of coal left on April 1. Whereas according to the guideline, this stock should be for 24 days.
What is the state of power crisis in which state?
Power crisis is increasing in states like Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Karnataka, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Haryana and Uttarakhand. There is a demand of 21 to 22 thousand MW power in Uttar Pradesh. Whereas only 19 to 20 thousand MW electricity is being supplied. The state’s largest plant is at Anpara. There is only four-five days of coal left here. The situation is getting worse due to non-start of supply of coal from rail rakes.
The power crisis in Andhra Pradesh has also affected the production of companies. The stainless steel maker in the state has also announced a 50 per cent cut in production due to the power crisis. In states like Gujarat and Maharashtra, power cuts have started due to the gap between demand and supply. Even in states like Bihar, Jharkhand, Haryana and Uttarakhand, the gap between supply and demand is as high as three per cent.
What is the preparation of governments to face the crisis?
Coal-fired plants account for 70 to 75 percent of the country’s total electricity generation. The shortage of trains to transport coal to the power plant is also adding to the crisis. According to news agency Reuters, the Railways is currently operating 415 such trains daily, which is 8.4 percent less than the required 453 trains. The same report said that between April 1 and 6, only 379 trains were available daily. Which was 16 percent less than the requirement.
What is the effect of rising heat?
In early April, heatwaves started showing their intensity over most parts of north and central India. Temperatures have risen above normal in these states. The rising heat has also increased the demand for electricity. According to an estimate, electricity demand is expected to grow by 15.2 percent by March 2023. To accomplish this, coal-fired plants would have to increase production by 17.6 percent.
Could the situation get worse?
The increasing demand for electricity has reduced the supply of coal to the non-power sector in the country. Coal India produces 80 percent of the total coal production in the country. Despite record production, the demand-supply gap is not being bridged. Keeping this in mind, Coal India has set a target of increasing the supply by 4.6 per cent to 565 million tonnes in the current financial year. In view of the increasing demand, the Power Ministry has asked to increase the import of coal to 36 million tonnes. Which is the highest in the last six years.
Will the Russo-Ukrainian war have any effect on this crisis?
However, this move may create problems for the submerged power distributors. Somehow, due to the Russo-Ukraine war, coal prices in the international market have risen. The chances of a pick-up in imports are also slim due to the rise in coal prices.
What was the point of such a crisis six months ago?
After the second wave of Corona, the demand for electricity has increased in the industrial sector of the country. Coal prices have reached record levels in the international market. While the prices in the country were quite low. This difference exacerbated import difficulties. At that time Coal India had said that due to rising prices in the international market, we have to depend on domestic coal production. This situation is due to the gap between supply and demand. However, the situation did not worsen with the onset of winters. At the time of crisis, there was a one per cent gap between the demand and supply of electricity. In the last seven days itself, this gap has come down to 1.4 per cent. This time it is the beginning of summer. The demand for electricity will increase further. The situation was further aggravated by the Russo-Ukraine war. Due to which the crisis is likely to deepen.