New Delhi: India is witnessing the worst electricity shortage in more than six years during the extreme heatwave. The leap in power demand has left India scrambling for coal, the dominant fuel used in electricity generation in the country. Coal inventories are at the lowest pre-summer levels in at least nine years.
According to the power ministry, peak-power demand in India surged to a record high on Thursday and is seen rising by as much as 8% next month. Electricity supply fell short of demand by 1.88 billion units, or 1.6%, during the first 27 days of April as per the news agency. From Jammu and Kashmir to Andhra Pradesh, consumers are facing power cuts ranging from 2 hours to 8 hours.
Here’s a list of states/ Union Territories that are on the brink of power cuts:
Haryana: The state will take additional power from other states like Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh to meet the consumption. This week on Wednesday, the maximum electricity demand across Haryana touched nearly 9,000 MW while the supply fell short by around 1,500 MW. The shortage resulted in four to six hours of cumulative power outage in Gurugram.
Uttar Pradesh: The country’s most populous state has a 3,000 MW deficit. Against the demand of around 23,000 MW, the supply is just 20,000 MW, resulting in load shedding in rural areas and smaller towns. At present, electricity is being supplied in rural areas on an average of 15 hours 7 minutes against the scheduled 18 hours.
Delhi: The ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government has expressed its concern over the possible shortage of coal in power plants that supply electricity to the national capital. According to Delhi Power Minister Satyender Jain, the coal shortages are seen in National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC)’s Dadri-II and Jhajjar (Aravalli) power plants. In NTPC’s Dadri-II power plant, only a day’s worth of stock is left and in Jhajjar (Aravalli), only 7-8 days’ worth of stock is left, as per the Delhi government.
The Dadri-II, Unchahar, Kahalgaon, Farakka, and Jhajjar power plants in Delhi supply 1751 MW of electricity per day. As per Delhi government data, the Unchahar power plant has two days’ worth of stock left, Kahalgaon has 3.5 days’ worth of stock left and Farakka has five days’ worth of stock left. For the first time in April, Delhi’s peak power demand clocked 6000 megawatt (MW) due to an unabated heatwave.
Andhra Pradesh: The state is facing a shortfall of about 50 million units of power as against the demand, which is touching 210 million units a day. Currently, the discoms in the state are implementing a two-day ‘power holiday’ for industries every week.
Bihar: Bihar is facing a power deficit of 200-300 Mega Watts (MW) per day because of the sudden increase in demand. The state’s consumption is around 6,000 MW per day and the availability of power from different sources is 5,000 to 5,200 MW only.
Rajasthan: In Rajasthan, the electricity demand has increased 31%, leading to power cuts of 5 to 7 hours a day. Rural areas are facing more power cuts than urban areas.
Kerala: The state has also started to witness power cuts since yesterday. The Kerala State Electricity Board has decided to impose a power cut after the production decreased by 400 MW due to the coal crisis.
Punjab: Amid the scorching heat, the electricity demand shot up by 40% in Punjab, state’s power minister Harbhajan Singh said. On Wednesday, there was a shortage of 282 lakh units in the state with electricity supply availability from all sources remaining at 1,679 lakh units. Coal supply continued to remain worrisome with the Ropar thermal plant having coal for 8.3 days, Lehra Mohabbat plant for four days, and GVK for 2.4 days in Punjab.
With power cuts showing an increasing trend, April shortages could exceed the large cuts implemented in January 2016 during a previous shortfall in power supply.