Blackout Crisis in India: Which State May Face Power Cut as Coal Demand Rise?

According to experts Delhi and Punjab face an energy crisis because of a tandem of factors such as heavy rainfall hitting mass coal transit and imported coal-based power plants producing below half of their capacity because of high record rates. Power Plants regulated generation following the scarcity of stock.

As per grid operator’s data more than half of the nation’s 135 coal-based Power Plants which together supply around 70% of the country’s electricity, have fuel stocks of less than two days. This is in contrast to the requirement of maintaining 15 to 30 days of stocks.

Below is the list of states which may face an energy crisis in the coming days due to the scarcity of coal.

  1. Punjab: To avoid a power crisis that could lead to the shutdown of the province’s thermal power plants due to dwindling coal reserves, Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi ordered the Centre to urgently increase the state’s coal supply according to quota. According to a PTI report, two units at the Talwandi Sabo and Ropar power plants, as well as one located at the  Lehra Mohabbat 475 MW plant, have been shut down. Punjab has already been subjected to daily power outages of 3-4 hours or more.
  2. Delhi: Arvind Kejriwal, the chief minister of Delhi, wrote to PM Narendra Modi on Saturday, complaining about “a power crisis. “I, for one, am keeping a close eye on things. We’re doing everything we can to stay away from it., “According to a tweet from Kejriwal, The high cost of imported coal has made it “impossible to provide under present PPA terms.
  3. Rajasthan: The state of Rajasthan is experiencing daily one-hour power outages due to the drought. It’s been reported that Tata Power, which had signed agreements to deliver 1,850 megawatts of electricity out of its coal-powered Power Plant in Gujarat, 380 MW to Rajasthan, 475 MW to Punjab, 380 MW to Haryana, and  760 MW to Maharashtra has halted production.
  4. Andhra Pradesh: Andhra Pradesh has been able to keep up with the state’s daily grid demand of 185-190 mega units. APGENCO-operated power plants, which provide about 45 percent of the state’s energy requirements, have only 1 or 2 days’ worth of coal stockpiles, and their ability to generate could be further affected.
  5. Tamil Nadu: (Tangedco) Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation, on the other hand, announced on Friday that power will be suspended in some areas of Chennai for maintenance purposes. From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., parts of the city were without power. It was Sholinganallur, Guindy, Sholinganallur, Injambakkam, and Annasalai that had the worst losses out of all of the neighborhoods in Chennai.
  6. Odisha: To help state-based industries that are suffering from a severe lack of dry fuel, the Utkal Chamber of Commerce and Industry Ltd (UCCI) has implored the state to ensure adequate coal supplies. UCCI wrote to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, “We would like to bring to your kind attention the current acute coal shortage situation in the state with many units having stock out or critical coal stocks seriously affecting the viable operation of the industrial units.”

Update on Coal Stock

The coal stock situation has been monitored twice a week by an inter-ministerial sub-group headed by the Union ministry of power. On Friday, the ministry released guidelines to ensure that generating stations are used to their full potential by the Electricity Grid’s specifications. The guidelines, according to officials, will allow imported coal-based power plants to operate with less reliance on domestic coal.