Friday, June 24, 2022

India’s power demand baseline now 205 GW, not going back to 160 GW: RK Singh

India’s power demand baseline is now 205 GW, and it is not going back to 160 GW, said Minister for Power RK Singh

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  • India is witnessing an unprecedented surge in power demand, which has caused a crisis as the availability of coal is unable to match the growth in power demand
  • The Power Minister has said that the government is gearing up to increase the stock of coal at power plants to 40 Million Tonnes (MT) during the monsoon season

New Delhi: India’s power demand baseline is now 205 GW, and it is not going back to 160 GW, said Minister for Power RK Singh on Thursday. India is witnessing an unprecedented surge in power demand, which has caused a crisis as the availability of coal is unable to match the growth in power demand. Around 80 percent of India’s power demand is met through coal. Commenting on the government’s plan for stocking up coal ahead of the Monsoon season, the Power Minister said that the government is gearing up to increase the stock of coal at power plants to 40 Million Tonnes (MT) during the monsoon season.

The minister said that right now, there are reserves of around 22.9 MT at the power plants. “On April 1, our reserve stock at power plants was at 24 MT. On April 30, it came down to 19 MT and on May 15, it came down to 15 MT. However, because of (coal) imports, it has gone up to about 22.9 MT again,” the minister said while replying to a question on coal availability.

Coal imports to build stock at thermal power plants

When asked if the government is planning to increase the buffer stock of coal anticipating production and supply issues during the approaching rainy season, he replied in the affirmative. “This happens every year during the rainy season. The domestic coal production falls. So we are preparing for that. During the monsoon July-September, daily demand will come down to 2.1 MT because the temperature will drop,” Singh said.

“But at the same time domestic coal supply will also come down. So, the gap will be increasing. That’s why this import is happening. I believe the buffer should be at least in the range of 40 MT,” the minister said.

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