India’s power demand touches all-time high of 201 GW
India recorded an all time high peak power demand of 201.066 GW (201,066 MW) on Tuesday, even as the coal shortage continued with at least 86 power plants having critically low stock limiting electricity generation across the country.
“The maximum All India power demand met is 201.066 GW at 14:51 hours today. It has surpassed last year’s maximum demand of 200.539 GW (200,539 MW) which occurred on July 7, 2021. The rising power demand reflects the economic growth in the country,” the power ministry said in a statement.
In March this year, the growth in energy demand was around 8.9%. It is expected to reach about 215-220 GW (215,000-220,000MW) in the months of May-June, the ministry said.
“The government and other stakeholders are working together to ensure unhindered power supply and efforts at all fronts are being made and measures are being taken for better utilisation of various resources,” it added.
Data from Central Electricity Authority (CEA) showed that as on Monday (April 25), as many as 86 of 150 power plants running on domestic coal had critically low levels of coal. Of the 15 plants designed on imported coal, 12 were marked as “critical”. Another eight plants were not in operation due to the crisis. The reasons cited in the remarks said it was mostly due to low supply from Coal India Limited and lack of rakes to transport them.
On Monday, the power ministry had asked state as well as private electricity generation companies (gencos) to purchase freight rakes, in addition to those being augmented and supplied by the Centre, in an effort to further tackle the supply crisis.
The railways ministry, in a statement on Monday, said it has ramped up coal transportation, resulting in 32% more coal freight loading between September 2021 and March 2022. There has also been an increase in 10% freight by efficiently mobilising resources after April 2022, it added.
The measures come at a time when the country continues to reel under a coal shortage, which has led to a drop in electricity generation at thermal power plants and further leading to outages during a particularly intense summer in the northern half of the country.