11 Oct 2021 Coal Shortage Crisis in India
- As per data of “Central Electricity Authority of India”. India is facing an unprecedented shortage of coal stocks across the thermal plants which might lead to a power crisis.
- Of total 135 thermal plants using coal for power generation, 106 or nearly 80 per cent were either in critical or supercritical stage, on October 5. These power plants had stocks for next 6-7 days only.
- As of now, three thermal power stations in Punjab, thirteen in Maharashtra, four in Kerala are shut due to shortage of coal.
- However, Union Power Minister R K Singh stated that there is no shortage of power Delhi. He also assured that coal supply will be maintained in times to come.
- The Coal Ministry also said that India has adequate coal stocks. As per coal ministry, low inventory doesn’t mean power generation would stop because stock of coal is being continuously replenished.
Why there is shortage of coal?
Possible reasons for shortage of coal in India include-
- Excess rainfall, that hit the coal movement.
- Imported coal-based power plants are generating less than half of their capacity because of high prices.
- Increase in Power Demand as the economy is recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic.
- Coal based thermal power plants have supplied a higher proportion of increase in demand. Share of thermal power has increased to 66.4% from 61.9% in 2019.
- Slower imports along with high international prices of coal have led to cut in imports.
Possible Impacts of Coal Shortage
- Coal shortage and electricity shortage might delay the economic reopening in India.
- It will hit hard the underdeveloped energy infrastructure in India.