Coal Crisis: Amit Shah reviews the electricity condition in the midst of disruptions

According to sources, Union Home Minister Amit Shah attended a meeting of the senior brass of the coal, power, and railway ministries on Monday amid electrical outages in various regions of the nation due to a coal shortfall at thermal plants. Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi, Power Minister R.K. Singh, and other high officials were among those who attended the conference.

Mr. Shah evaluated the position of coal supply to power plants and power generation, among other issues, during the meeting, according to PTI sources. The Union Home Ministry serves as a liaison between the federal government and the states on a variety of subjects. Various states have been experiencing power disruptions since last week, and attempts are being undertaken to increase coal supplies to thermal power plants.

As of May 1, coal stock at 147 non-pithead facilities with a combined generating capacity of 164 GW monitored by the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) was 26% of the normal level. On Sunday, these plants’ dry fuel stock was 14,664 thousand tonnes, compared to the normative level of 57,236 thousand tonnes.

Power plants are far away from Coal mines

Non-pithead power plants are hundreds of kilometers from mines, thus maintaining adequate fuel supplies is critical to ensuring a steady supply of electricity.

According to data from the national grid operator Electricity System Operation Corporation (POSOCO), power consumption in the country increased 13.6 percent year over year to 132.98 billion units (BU) in April, indicating the impact of the early start of summer and increased economic activity.

In April of last year, power usage was 117.08 BU, up from 84.55 BU in April of this year. Following the increasing demand for dry fuel from power plants, state-owned Coal India Ltd increased its coal supply to the power industry by 15.6 percent to 49.7 million tonnes last month. 

The CIL has also stated that in the coming months, it intends to increase its dispatches, particularly to power plants. Peak electricity supply reached record levels three times last week, despite rising heatwaves in several parts of the country.

On Tuesday, the peak electricity supply reached a new high of 201.65GW. On July 7, 2021, this topped the previous year’s maximum demand of 200.53 GW. On Thursday, it reached a new high of 204.65GW, and on Friday, it reached a new high of 207.11GW. On Wednesday, it was at 200.65GW. At the start of this week, on Monday, the peak power supply was 199.34 GW. 

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