Indian govt invokes emergency clause as power crisis looms large
To tide over the power crisis accentuated by the shortage of coal, the Indian government has invoked an emergency clause that will allow idle power stations running on imported coal to generate electricity, according to reports.
The officials from the Ministry of Power department have roped in those involved in the debt restructuring of financially stressed idle plants to make them functional. Apart from that, a government committee will facilitate passing on higher costs of generation to customers, the government said in an order, reports Reuters.
India has been facing long power cuts in some parts of the country as the demand for electricity surges on account of the summer season and low output of coal.
Stockpiles at coal-fired power stations have tumbled more than 14 per cent since the start of April, leaving about 100 plants with critical supply levels, Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis said in its report, Bloomberg reports.
The reserves are expected to shrink further due to high demand that will likely persist until the arrival of the monsoon.
Over 43 per cent of the plants fired by imported coal, which have a total capacity of 17.6 gigawatts and account for 8.6 per cent of India’s total coal power capacity, are currently idle, according to Reuters report.
Union Power Minister R K Singh has also reviewed the status of the coal import for blending in the thermal power plants with the states. Power Secretary Alok Kumar, senior officials of the state governments and electricity generation companies (gencos) were present in the meeting held virtually on Thursday, the power ministry said in a statement on Friday.
The minister stated that the domestic coal would be supplied to all gencos in proportion to the coal received from coal companies.
He further advised the states to increase the output from the captive mines to meet their coal requirements, which will help in reducing the burden on the linkage coal.