India's March electricity shortage is the worst since coal crisis in October

The deficit in March was 574 million kilowatt-hours

March 31, 2022 07:11 pm | Updated 10:09 pm IST - NEW DELHI

India's electricity shortage from March 1 to March 30 was its worst since October 2021, a Reuters analysis of government data showed, driven by a surge in demand.

As generators strive to meet requirements, a fall in the national coal inventory is forcing the government to withold supply to other sectors and suspend fuel auctions by companies that do not have contracted supply.

Many northern States suffered hours-long power outages in October, when a crippling coal shortage caused the worst electricity deficit in almost five years.

The deficit in March was 574 million kilowatt-hours, a measure that multiplies power level by duration, a Reuters analysis of data from federal grid regulator POSOCO showed.

That amounted to 0.5% of overall demand for the period, or half the deficit of 1% in October.

Shortages in the eastern State of Jharkhand and Uttarakhand in the north surpassed those of October, the data showed.

The southern State of Andhra Pradesh and the tourist resort State of Goa, which registered marginal shortages in October, suffered deficits several times larger in March.

The northern States of Haryana, Rajasthan and Punjab and the eastern state of Bihar, some parts of which suffered widespread outages in October, accounted for most of the deficit in March, but shortfalls were lower, the data showed.

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