India’s October Power Supply Deficit Worst Since March 2016

It has reported that India’s power supply fell about 750 million units short of demand during the first 12 days of October, largely due to a coal shortage, a deficit of 1.6% that was the worst since March 2016, data from grid regulator POSOCO showed.

The October shortfall was already the biggest in absolute terms for a single month since November 2018, even with 19 days of October still left.

Reuters, a news website said that Northern states such as Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh, and the eastern states of Jharkhand and Bihar, were the worst affected, registering supply deficits of 2.3%-14.7%.

Power Cut

Increased economic activity after the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic has driven up demand for coal leading to a supply shortage, forcing northern states such as Bihar, Rajasthan, and Jharkhand to cut power for up to 14 hours a day.

India has asked power producers to import up to 10% of their coal needs to blend with domestic coal and has warned states of electricity supply curbs if they are found selling on power exchanges to cash in on surging prices.

Coal Fired Power

India’s dependence on coal-fired power increased to 69.6% in October from 66.5% in September, the data showed, exacerbating the coal shortage amid a decline in output from other sources such as wind and hydro.

More than 60% of India’s 135 coal-fired power plants have fuel stocks of less than three days. The share of output from renewable energy so far in October fell to 8.34% from 11.33% in September, while hydro energy output fell by 1.3 percentage points, the data showed. (Source: Reuters)