Only four days of coal reserves left — What is India’s coal crisis?

Oct 6, 2021

By: Shadab Rabbani

What does four days of coal reserve mean?

Power plants only had an average of four days' worth of coal at the end of September.

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Why did India go into this coal crisis?

Surge in power demand in post-monsoon season, low mining outputs in monsoon season and fall in imports due to high prices.

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Coal-based power plants

About 66.4 per cent of electricity generation in India is done by coal-fired power plants.

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Coal Mining in India

Around three-quarters of India’s coal demand is met domestically, but heavy rains flooded the mines and key transport routes.

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​Electricity demand

There has been a surge in electricity demands in the country, thanks to economic revival post the second wave of COVID and the addition of about 28.2 million consumers.

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When will the coal supplies be normalised?

As per Union Power Minister R K Singh, it could take five to six months for coal-fired power plants to secure enough fuel.

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Impact on Industries

Industries that run on coal like aluminium producers were impacted majorly after Coal India Ltd. curbed supplies of the fuel to prioritize deliveries to electricity generators.

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When will the situation get better?

As per India’s coal secretary, Coal India should be able to increase supplies by the second week of October to cover the deficit at power plants.

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Rise in Electricity Price

Electricity prices are likely to rise in the coming months for domestic consumers once the distribution utilities get regulatory approvals to pass on the cost.

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India's foreign exchange reserves rose by USD 2.6 billion in the week ending May 10: RBI