After the energy crisis in China, now questions are also being raised on India whether there is a situation of energy crisis in India. Especially this question is arising when the world’s third largest coal reserves are in India. Despite this, the coal crisis in India has started deepening. It is believed that only three to five days of coal stock is left in many power plants of the country. In such a situation, questions are being raised whether there will be a power failure in India too? Will India’s position really be like China? What is the status of coal in India? What are the concerns of the Government of India? Why did this situation arise in India? What are the big reasons behind this? Our energy expert Narendra Taneja ji will answer all these questions.
Why is the coal crisis deepening in India?
First of all, it has to be understood that the nature of the energy crisis in India is not like that of China. Coal is not the problem in India. India has abundant coal. India has large reserves of coal, but some situations have arisen in the country due to which the production of coal has decreased. Due to this, the country’s power plants do not have coal reserves. These plants have only three to five days of coal left with them, while they should have at least 20 days of storage. The problem is not coal, but its production. Think of it in this way that you have abundant coal in the earth, but its production is getting limited.
Why did the production of coal decrease?
This is a big question. It has to be understood. Actually, after the second wave of Kovid, the country’s economy got derailed. Many offices in the country were closed. Many small scale industries closed down or their production capacity was limited. Work from home culture was started on a large scale in the country. Due to this, there has been a significant reduction in the consumption of electricity in the private sector. As a result, the demand for electricity has come down drastically. Power production at Pawar plants was limited due to low demand.
Amidst the fear of a third wave in the country, the Indian economy got back on track very fast. Suddenly the demand for electricity increased. The country’s Pawar plants were not ready for this. He kept coal deposits with him in limited quantities. Due to this sudden increase in demand for energy, the principle of demand and supply of electricity got disturbed. But for India it cannot be said that there is a shortage of coal in the country. We have abundant mineral wealth under the earth.
Actually, there is a coordination between Coal India and Pawar Plants for the supply of coal. The situation in the country that arose after Kovid, there was a lack of coordination between Pawar Plants and Coal India. Pawar Plants had no idea that the demand for electricity would increase drastically. After Kovid, the Indian economy picked up speed rapidly. In such a situation, along with electricity, the demand for coal has also increased. Due to this, somewhere there was a lack of coordination between Coal India and the power generation plants, due to which this problem has arisen. In my view it is a lack of coordination. Secondly, the supply of coal coming from other countries for Indian plants has also been disrupted. All of these have a combined effect.
Apart from this, due to monsoon in India, this problem has become worse. Many coal mines got waterlogged due to rain. Due to this, coal could not be produced in these mines. As a result, the production of coal decreased. Second, many power plants had huge coal borrowings. Due to limited coal, those plants were under pressure to repay the loan. In such a situation, coal could be supplied only to those power plants on which there was no credit of coal.
In how many days will this problem be resolved?
Look, the situation regarding Kovid in the country is changing rapidly. Apart from this, the coal mines which were filled with water due to monsoon are now getting empty fast. It is expected that soon the production work in it will start at a fast pace. I think it will take two weeks for this problem to be resolved. The supply of coal to the Pawar plant will be smooth.
70 percent of the electricity generated in the country comes from thermal power plants. Of the total power plants, 137 power plants run on coal, out of which 72 power plants have 3 days of coal left as of 7 October 2021. Less than 4 days of coal is left in 50 plants. Explain that India is the second largest country in the world in terms of coal production. According to the Global Energy Statistical Yearbook 2021, China is at the forefront of coal production. China produces 3,743 million tonnes of coal every year. At the same time, India is at number two by producing 779 million tonnes of coal every year. Despite this, India imports 20 to 25 percent of its coal requirement from other countries.
What did the Union Energy Minister say
Energy Minister RK Singh said that there is no power crisis in Delhi. We have huge stock of coal. The crisis has been unnecessarily publicized. The Union Minister said that on October 9, 1.92 million tonnes of coal from all coal mines was sent to the plants and only 1.87 million tonnes was used. This means that coal is being produced more than it is used.