Power plants meet record 201GW need

NEW DELHI: India’s power plants met maximum demand of over 201 GW (gigawatts) at 2.51pm on Tuesday, beating the previous record of over 200 GW clocked on July 7 last year, as the economy began firing on all cylinders and a raging heatwave further fuelled consumption.
Coming amid low fuel inventories at coal-fired plants, the meeting of higher peak explains the faster depletion of fuel inventories at generation units and underlines the chinks in coal transportation.
The power ministry expects peak demand to touch 210 GW this month and is working towards ensuring all coal-fired power plants have fuel inventories to supply about 160 GW during peak hours. In terms of energy, the power ministry has pegged the requirement at more than 1650 billion units (BU) in 2022-23 against 1375 BU in 2021-22 BU.
Coal stocks at power plants are hovering at 35-36% of the normative requirement, which is good for only 11 days.
The government has asked states to import coal, give tariff relief to enable imported coal-based power plants to switch on, allow tolling of states’ quota of supply from Coal India for optimum use of coal.