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Power Cut to Continue in India Amid Coal Shortage and High Demand; Details Here

By: Business Desk

Last Updated: April 13, 2022, 11:07 IST

India has been facing power cuts over the last few days (File photo: Reuters)

India has been facing power cuts over the last few days (File photo: Reuters)

The shortage of electricity as a percentage of demand has shot up to 1.4 per cent over the last week, an analysis of government data showed

India is on the brink to face more power cuts as the year progresses with utilities’ coal inventories remaining at a nine-year low pre-summer levels while the electricity demand is likely to rise “in its fastest pace in at least 38 years”, as per a report quoting analysts and officials has said. Different parts of India have already started facing power cuts amid the coal crisis at a time when Indian industries are looking to revive themselves months after the Covid lockdown.

Several states, including  Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Telangana and Uttar Pradesh have started seeing power cuts over the last few days. Maharashtra, one of the most industrialised state in the country, is on the brink of facing compulsory power outages. On the other hand, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu are letting the state-run utilities buy expensive power in order to avoid load shedding.

The shortage of electricity as a percentage of demand has shot up to 1.4 per cent over the last week, a Reuters analysis of government data showed, higher than the 1 per cent deficit in October, when India last faced a serious coal shortage, and the 0.5 per cent shortfall in March.

Maharashtra after several years is staring at compulsory power cuts as demand is higher than supply, the state discom announced on Monday, pegging the shortages at over 2,500 mw. The Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company in a statement has said that power cuts will be carried out in both rural and urban areas. The growing demand for power and shortages of coal have resulted in a deficit of 2,500-3,000 mw in power. To bridge the same, MSEDCL will be resorting to load shedding as per the guidelines set by Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission, the statement said. The MSEDCL statement said there is a record demand for over 28,000 mw of power, which is about 4,000 mw higher than last year’s.

Andhra Pradesh, another industry heavy area, is on the other hand facing an electricity deficit of 8.7 per cent, data accessed by Reuters showed, pushing the state to resort to widespread power cuts. Over the past few days, industries have been running on 50 per cent supplies, while hours-long power cuts in the interiors have led to widespread protests by the Opposition. The YS Jagan Mohan Reddy-led state government has described the situation as “temporary”, informing that the state is facing a shortage of 50-55 million units (MU) of power.

India’s power demand is expected to soar in summer, with weather officials forecasting maximum temperatures above normal in April in many northern and central regions. According to government data, Jharkhand Bihar, Haryana and Uttarakhand have reported power shortages of over 3 per cent each.

Total power output is seen surging 15.2 per cent during the year ended March 2023, a federal power ministry note reviewed by Reuters showed, with demand set to rise at the fastest pace in at least 38 years.

(With agency inputs)

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first published:April 13, 2022, 11:05 IST
last updated:April 13, 2022, 11:07 IST