Many states in India are faced worst power cuts in years. This summer people have witnessed scorching heat in the form of heatwave & power cuts are adding to the woes of people.

India has touched its highest power demand in April, 2022 end as per the below tweet from the Ministry of Power.

Ministry of Power tweet.

You may like read – Best inverter to avoid power cuts.

What is the reason for the power cuts or gap in supply?

There are a few reasons for this gap in supply & demand India has witnessed after a long time.

High temperatures.

One of the primary reasons is the highest temperature in many parts of India.

The month of March was the hottest in India as per IMD data. Its intensity was so high that IMD had issued an orange alert for many states of north western parts initially. Later it was extended to central & western states as well.

IMD tweet.

These heatwaves have pushed up the temperature in many parts of India. Many places have witnessed temperatures over 40-45 degrees & making it the hottest days.

Increase in power demand

Secondly, the demand in industries has increased. With COVID-19 cases at a low level, offices & industries have started to work with full force. Demand for electricity in these areas has spiked considerably compared to the last two years.

Simultaneously, demand in the household has also increased. The air conditions and coolers which were luxury item has now become a necessity for homes. The sale of these heavy appliances has increased with no cost or easy EMI options are available to buyers.

Low coal inventory

The third but most important point is India’s low inventory level of coal.
India consumes over one billion tonnes of coal to satisfy its power demand. A massive 75% of electricity generation is coal-dependent.

There are  total of 108 power plants in India, out of this 88 are dependent on domestic coal supply for power generation. The remaining 12 power plants are working on imported coal with limited coal levels. Balance 8 plants are not in operation due to various reasons.

Coal Inventory & Supply
Coal Inventory & Supply.

Meaning the supply of coal to the power plants is critical for power generation.
The availability of rakes to transport coal is at a reduced level. In short, the shortage of transport availability has added to the power generation issue.

It is clear that the lack of coordination between different government departments such as coal, railway & power plants has led to this chaotic situation.

Supply & Distribution network

The power sector is fully controlled by government.
The distribution of the power supply is done through DISCOM which are state owned & controlled. These DISCOM have critical roll in power supply.

Over the periode it has been practice with DISCOM that they are not paying their dues for coal they buy to generating companies (GENCOS). This has become main pain point for entire power sector.

What is power cuts impact on our life?

Apart from daily power cuts at home, essential services are at risk which is electricity based.

If the heatwaves continue then demand for power supply will keep on increasing, it will impact not only household supply but other services such as metro, train, industries & offices, etc.

Some of the states have started to cut power supply to industries & some are restricting industrial activities.

Spike in demand for coal supply has impacted train schedules as well. Indian railways have canceled many express trains to accommodate coal supply rakes. These are majorly long-distance trains & adding traveling woes for passengers.

What government is doing to resolve issue?

The government also understand the power crises. They have taken steps to limit this problem of power shortage. India has given go ahead to import coal though it will impact on our forex.

On May 2 Indian government has set targets for importing coal for several states & private players.
They had a target of 38 millions tonnes for coal import by the June 2022.

Government has also asked to restart the thermal power plants which were closed due to insolvency. In addition to coal, natural gas has been ordered to purchase at available prices to start gas power plants in country.

Though government has taken series of steps to contain the power crises, the many of closed power plants are unlikely to start or operate with full efficiency.

In last two decades different government has implemented four reform packages for power sector. These huge packages were given to reduce transmission losses & close the supply gap. All these have not given desired results as we continue to face simillar issues & no much improvement in situation.

Electricity Supply at home.
Electricity Supply at home.

How private players help in this?

We all know that private players has become a part of the power generation like Tata, Reliance, Adani etc. Over the period of time power sector has become open & private players nearly own half of the capacity.

However, they are forced to supply their generated power through DISCOMS. Few private players has already filled bankruptcy due to non payment of dues by DISCOMS.

The power sector is highly regularized by government. They have impose several capping on private players for power generation & their distribution.
Private players can support to generate additional power to close the gap between demand & supply. They need to encourage with generation & supply with balanced regulations.

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What are solutions to power crises?

Well, with the time electricity has become necessity after roti, kapada, makan. We all want to live comfortably.

This has been great impact on power consumption. We need to understand that the power generation is capital intensive sector & need lot of resources as well.

First We need to learn to control our consumption & second, switch over to alternatives.
We can start with limiting use of AC at lower temperatures or don’t use it in day hours. Switching off of lights, fan, bulbs, no over charging of mobiles, home inverters may reduce consumption at individual level.

It will be best if we can switch over to LED tubes/bulbs, appliances with higher energy savings etc. A major switch can be made by using solar generated electricity by societies, industries & individual as much as possible.

At government level, they need to reorganize DISCOMS to have better supply & distribution. Limit losses of DISCOMS to support GENCOS.
Not to have arbitrary policy which will impact import of coal & distribution of coal etc.
Allow private player to sell their electricity to the client they find suitable(bilaterally or through exchanges).
Government to transfer benefits directly to farmers, retail customers etc.

All above mentioned are long term solutions & involves many parties & functionaries to resolve this issue.
It needs lot of effort from government as well as from individual’s to fight with this problem.

To support daily life in power cuts, we need power backup. There are many solutions for power backup in India. These are diesel generators (DG), inverters, ups, and solar panels. You may read more on Best inverter for Home In India in the article.

Let us know your view or any other solution we can offer to resolve this power issue.