Affected by humidity, India’s power demand peak in August broke records, and domestic coal-fired power plants faced a shortage of coal, with coal supply exceeding 4.43 million tons in the first 21 days of this month.
India’s peak electricity consumption exceeded the Ministry of Power’s forecast of 229 GW on August 16, August 17 and August 18. The peak demand on that day reached 233 GW, 234.1 GW and 231.6 GW respectively.
India faces higher power demand due to high heat index and humidity, which has seen a sharp increase in electricity demand, especially in northern, central and southern India, sources said.
At the same time, the gap between domestic coal receipts and consumption is widening, one source said.
For example, DCB plants consumed 45.72 tonnes of dry fuel between Aug. 1 and Aug. 21, while they received 41.29 tonnes of dry fuel, bringing the shortfall to 4.43 tonnes, the highest for fiscal 2024, “probably” is this calendar year.
Similarly, the gap between coal receipts and consumption in April, May, June and July 2023 is 4.15 tonnes, 1.91 tonnes, 3.77 tonnes and 2.32 tonnes respectively.
“This shortage is forcing power plants to import coal. If factories do not import coal during December 2022, the shortage could be even worse. As electricity demand starts to rise in July and August relative to summer, a senior government official explained, There appears to be a lag in the coal shipment schedule.
Coal imports increased
The power sector imported 14.21 tonnes of coal in Q1 FY24. In addition, CareEdge data shows that non-coking coal imports from April to December in fiscal year 2023 increased by 25.6% year-on-year to 192 tons, mainly for power generation, accounting for 66% of the total.
Pan-India coal stocks at DCB power plants stood at 29.7 tonnes as of August 21, just enough to last 11.4 days, according to the National Power Portal. On the day, the number of DCB plants with severe under-stocking was 28.
A suitable storage period is about 14-15 days, an official said, adding that coal transportation can become a problem during rainy periods. Planning for transport of key resources should be completed by at least April-May 2023.
DCB power plant coal reserves data show that as of August 21, 147 non-pithead power plants have a capacity of 148.37 GW, a daily demand of 2.08 tons, a domestic inventory of 20.89 tons, and an import volume of 1.24 tons.Actual inventory relatively The standard stock rate is 51%.
Another senior administration official said that would affect power generation. During the period from August 12 to August 21, the daytime average of India-wide peak demand reached nearly 225 GW, while the peak shortage averaged about 3.80 GW.
hot and humid weather
The person in charge explained that the hot and humid weather led to an increase in cooling demand, which increased from an average of about 5-6 hours per day to more than 10 hours. This is reflected in record high consumption.
Electricity shortages are lower during solar hours compared to non-solar hours. For example, on August 17, the maximum demand met by solar hours was 212.72 GW and the maximum demand met by non-solar hours was 234.1 GW. However, solar hours are short by only 87 MW, while non-solar hours are short by 6,719 MW.
Likewise, on August 21, the peak demand met during the solar hours was 226.24 GW and the peak demand met during the non-solar hours was 208.36 GW. The shortfall in non-solar hours was 716 MW, while the shortfall in non-solar hours widened to 9,640 MW.
Record high consumption and deficits are also reflected in high prices for electricity procured by power exchanges. For example, on the Indian Energy Exchange (IEX), the average market clearing price was Rs 6.9 per unit on August 20, which rose to around Rs 8 per unit a day later and then rose further to Rs 9.4 per unit in August. twenty two.