As an energy crisis is looming over India, Delhi Power Minister Satyendar Jain on Saturday, October 9, warned that there is only one-day stock of coal left in the thermal power station from where Delhi gets its electricity. He made these statements after a meeting with the representatives of power distribution companies (discoms).
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal too warned about the national capital dealing with a power crisis. "I am personally keeping a close watch over the situation. We are trying our best to avoid it," the chief minister said on Twitter, as reported by Al Jazeera.
On October 9, Tata Power Delhi Distribution Ltd sent SMSes to its customers to use electricity judiciously. Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited (TPDDL) CEO Ganesh Srinivasan said that coal-based power stations supplying electricity to Delhi have limited coal stocks to meet generation requirements for one-two days against 20 days as per applicable regulations.
"As a result, Delhi might go through intermittent rotational load shedding. However, proactive steps by both Delhi as well as the central government for handling the grim situation are under consideration to arrange or divert coal for power generation," he said. He also said that all the plants are already running on only 55 per cent capacity, instead of the full 3.4 lakh megawatt (MW) capacity.
India is the world's second-largest coal-consuming country. Coal accounts for nearly 70 percent of India's electricity generation. The shortage in India follows widespread power outages in China that have closed factories and badly hit production and global supply chains. In fact, in various parts of the world, governments are grappling with a severe energy crisis. Lebanon has been left without electricity, plunging the country into darkness amid a severe economic crisis. According to a government official, the country's two largest power stations, Deir Ammar and Zahrani, had shut down because of a fuel shortage.
How Did The Situation Get This Dire?
The Union Power Ministry has listed four reasons for the depletion of coal reserves. An unprecedented increase in demand for electricity due to the revival of the economy, heavy rains in coal mine areas during September 2021, an increase in prices of imported coal to an unprecedented high level, and non-building of adequate coal stocks before the onset of monsoon have been cited as the reason behind the shortage by the power ministry in a release.