Union Power Minister R K Singh on Tuesday said the country was power deficit in 2014 when there was a shortage of 13-15 per cent in power supply and now, it is a power surplus. He added that the current government has connected the entire country into one grid and currently, 1.12 lakh MW of power can be transferred from one corner of the country to another.
“We were power deficit in 2014, now we’re power surplus. At that time, there was a shortage of 13-15 per cent in power supply. We connected the entire country into one grid. Today, we can transfer 1.12 lakh MW of power from one corner of country to another,” Singh said.
He also said the government constructed 2,900 new substations, upgraded 3,800 substations and added 7.5 lakh new transformers. “We achieved the target of having 40 per cent of our established power generation capacity from non-fossil fuels in November 2021.”
On the coal production, he said the dry fuel output will be increased as its demand has increased. On a day-to-day basis, power demand is 40,000-45,000 MW more than the corresponding day last year. Energy consumption has gone up from 3,500 million units to 4,500 million units.
“Our reserve stocks of coal came down from 24 million tonnes to 19 million tonnes in power plants on April 30. It further came down to 18.5 million tonnes on May 31 but now imports have started coming,” the power minister said.
Recently, various parts of the country faced electricity cuts. Punjab, Jharkhand, Odisha, Bihar, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Haryana, Delhi and Andhra Pradesh mainly faced the issue. It was mainly due to low coal availability at the power plants and high demand during the summer season.
Peak power shortage recently rose swiftly from a single digit of 5.24 GW to touch a double-digit of 10.77 GW, showing the effects of various factors like low coal stocks at generation plants, heatwave and other issues on the deepening electricity crisis.
Delhi’s peak power demand earlier last month clocked 6,194 MW; the highest peak power demand ever recorded in the first week of May. In April also, Delhi saw a peak of 6,197 MW, an all-time high for the month of April ever.
Amid this, state-owned Coal India Ltd (CIL) said its dry fuel supply to the power sector rose 15.6 per cent year-on-year to 49.7 million tonnes in April. On an average, CIL supplied 1.66 million tonnes (MT) of coal per day to power utilities in April, which sped to 1.73 MT during the last month.
“With the intense demand for coal continuing unabated driven by an upward spiral in the electricity generation CIL pushed up its supplies to power plants of the country to 49.7 million tonnes (MTs) in April 2022. This is 6.7 MTs more supply compared to April 2021 when the power sector’s despatch was 43 MTs,” CIL said last month.
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