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India risks another electricity crisis in July and August: report on coal stocks – Business Standard

Independent research organization CREA said the decline in coal stocks before the monsoon at India’s thermal power plants indicates another energy crisis in the July-August period.

The current coal stock is 13.5 million tons in electric power plants and cumulative 20.7 metric tons in all power plants across the country. “Data collected from official sources indicates that coal-fired power plants are not in a position to address even a slight rise in energy demand and there is a need to plan for the transition of coal in advance,” according to the Center for Research on Energy and Clean Air. (CREA) Latest Report “Load Failure: India’s Energy Crisis Is Coal Governance Crisis”.

The Central Electricity Authority of India (CEA) forecast peak power demand of 214 GW in August. Additionally, average energy demand could also rise further than it was in May to 1,33,426 million units (MUs).

“The onset of the southwest monsoon will further impede mining and the transport of coal from mines to power plants… If coal stocks are not replenished to appropriate levels before the monsoon, the country may head towards another electricity crisis in July and August 2022,” CREA said. .

She also said that the country’s recent electricity crisis was not due to coal production but “distribution and official indifference”.

“It is clear from the data that coal transportation and management have not been sufficient to keep pace with the increasing demand from the energy sector…Trends show that thermal power plants have not been adequately stocked despite appropriate coal mining,” she said.

India saw a record coal production of 777.26 million tons in FY 2021-22 versus 716.08 metric tons in FY21, an increase of 8.54 percent. The country had a total minable capacity of over 1,500 metric tons in fiscal year 21-22 while total production was 777.26 metric tons, nearly half of its production capacity. So, if there is a real shortage of coal, coal companies have the option of simply increasing production, said Sunil Dahia, an analyst at CREA.

“The current situation is not something that started in the recent past… Coal stocks in power plants have been declining continuously since May 2020, except for a few months in between.

“The main cause of last year’s electricity crisis was the failure of power plant operators to stock adequate coal before the onset of the southwest monsoon. Timing is important as the monsoons flood coal mines, hindering their production and transmission to power plants,” the report stated.

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