Data | Coal crisis: Over 100 thermal power plants have <25% of required stock

Due to low levels of coal inventories, power generated from thermal plants has significantly declined and this becomes more worrying as the coal crisis has hit at a time when power demand has peaked due to summer months

April 20, 2022 04:49 pm | Updated April 25, 2022 02:03 pm IST

RANIPET,TAMIL NADU: 15/04/2022: STANDALONE: Local women worker breaking coal by hammer. This coal use for brick kiln at Walajapet,Ranipet district.
Photo:  Venkatachalapathy C /The Hindu 

RANIPET,TAMIL NADU: 15/04/2022: STANDALONE: Local women worker breaking coal by hammer. This coal use for brick kiln at Walajapet,Ranipet district. Photo:  Venkatachalapathy C /The Hindu  | Photo Credit: VENKATACHALAPATHY C

Barely six months have passed and India is facing yet another coal crisis. In more than 100 thermal power plants in India, coal stock has fallen below the critical mark (<25% of the required stock) and in over 50 plants, it has fallen below the 10% mark. Due to low levels of coal inventories, power generated from thermal plants has significantly declined. This had led to power shortages in several States such as Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand and Madhya Pradesh. Planned power outages due to coal shortages have become a norm. More worryingly, the coal crisis has hit at a time when power demand has peaked due to summer months.

Critical situation

The chart plots the stock required (horizontal axis) against the % of actual stock maintained (vertical axis) as of April 18 across 173 thermal power plants. Of the 173 power plants, 101 have been labeled critical, while 51 have less than 10% of the required stock

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Power shortage

The chart shows power supply shortage as % of demand in April. Only States which recorded significant deficits have been listed

Andhra Pradesh has been recording a supply shortage of around 10% every day for the past week. On April 13, Jharkhand suffered a power supply shortage of 17%

Planned outages

 The chart shows the daily planned power outages (in megawatts) since April 10 due to the shortage of coal. Outages have consistently been above the 6,000 MW mark for the past nine days

Peaking demand

The chart shows India’s power demand (in gigawatts) across various time periods: December 2021, January 2022, February 2022, March 10 to 18, and April 10 to 18

The average levels in April are consistently higher than average power demand in past few months

Source: POSOCO, Central Electricity Authority, National Power Portal 

Also read: Explained | What is the extent of India’s coal crisis?

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