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Home News Power Sector News June 2009 recorded highest power shortage in five years - CEA

June 2009 recorded highest power shortage in five years - CEA

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CEAThe gap in the demand and supply of electricity widened by at least 15 per cent to over 15,300 Mw in June 2009, compared to a deficiency of 13,000 Mw in the same month last year. A delayed monsoon and reduced coal availability at thermal power plants pushed India’s power deficit in June 2009 to a five-year high of 13.8 per cent, according to the latest data released by the Central Electricity Authority (CEA).

This assumes significance as, according to industry estimates, India Inc’s revenue losses due to non-supply of power were over Rs 43,000 crore in 2008-09. Experts speculate that the published power deficit figures are slightly understated and attribute this historic rise in the demand and supply gap of power mainly to the reduced fuel supply at thermal stations.

The coal stocks of more than 37 per cent of the 81 coal-based thermal power generating stations were “critical” in June, according to the data obtained from CEA. The coal stock position of a thermal power generating unit is said to be critical when it falls to levels which can last only for seven days of operation.

In a written reply to a question asked in Parliament earlier this week, Minister of State for Power Bharatsinh Solanki admitted that the coal stock position at some of NTPC’s power stations had depleted. NTPC Ltd, the country’s largest power generator, however, denies any shortage of dry fuel.

Coal-based power generated in June fell short by over 1,200 million units (MUs) of the targeted 42,000 MUs of electricity.

Another reason for the power crunch in that month was the decreased generation from hydro power plants due to deficient rains resulting from a delayed monsoon. According to the Central Water Commission (CWC) data, water storage at the 81 reservoirs across the country was a meagre 9 per cent of the total capacity of 151 billion cubic metres (bcm) of these reservoirs in June.

India’s hydro power plants generated 9,600 MUs of electricity in June as compared to over 10,500 MUs generated in the same period last year.

Source- Business Standard

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