India’s peak power shortage shot up to 10.77 GW last week, deepening power crisis

India’s peak power shortage rose last week from single digit of 5.24 GW on Monday to touch double digit of 10.77 GW on Thursday, primarily on account of low coal stocks at generation plants and a massive heatwave surging across the country. 

The latest data of national grid operator, Power System Operation Corporation (POSOCO) showed that peak power shortage was just 2.64GW on Sunday last which shot up to 5.24 GW on Monday, 8.22 GW on Tuesday, 10.29 GW on Wednesday and further to 10.77 GW on Thursday.

The data also showed that the peak shortage came down slightly to 8.12GW on Friday despite peak power demand met or the highest supply touching an all-time high of 207.11GW on April 29, 2022.

Experts are of the view that the data clearly shows that there is a spurt in demand and peak shortage shot up in just few days which deepened the power crisis. They say that all stakeholders led by the Centre and state governments need to deal firmly with issues like low coal stocks at thermal plants, timely unloading of rakes at projects, availability of rakes.

The Ministry of Power had said that the electricity demand is expected to reach about 215-220 GW in May-June 2022.

The latest data shows that the coal stocks at the 147 non-pithead thermal plants with total capacity of over 164GW monitored by Central Electricity Authority (CEA) was 24 per cent of the normative level on April 28, 2022. The coal stock on Thursday at these plants was 13,755 thousand tonnes against the norm of 57,236 thousand tonnes. Non-pithead plants are located hundreds of kilometers away from coal mines and maintaining dry fuel stock is essential.

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