Peak shortage shoots up to 10.77 GW this week, deepens power crisis

Amid intensifying heatwave across the country, the peak power supply touched record levels thrice in this week

New Delhi: Peak power shortage rose swiftly this week from single digit of 5.24 GW on Monday to touch double digit of 10.77 GW on Thursday showing affects of various factors like low coal stocks at generation plants, heatwave and other issues on deepening electricity crisis.

The latest data of national grid operator, Power System Operation Corporation (POSOCO) showed that peak power shortage was just 2.64GW on Sunday 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.

Interestingly, amid intensifying heatwave across the country which would not relent for a few more days as per the weather department, the peak power supply touched record levels thrice in this week.

The peak power supply touched record 201.65GW on Tuesday. This had surpassed last year's maximum demand met of 200.53 GW on July 7, 2021.

The peak supply was again at record level of 204.65GW on Thursday and touched an all-time high of 207.11GW on Friday. It was 200.65GW on Wednesday.

The peak power supply was 199.34 GW at the beginning of this week on Monday.

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.

They opined that if this is the state of affairs at the onset of summer then what would happen in coming days especially in the months of May and June.

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.

The experts opined that the coal-based electricity is still baseload in India and essential for ensuring uninterrupted power supply.

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