Amid Crisis, Power Min Asks States to Use Unallocated Power to Supply Consumers
India’s power sector is in the middle of a storm as its coal-fired power plants face a shortage in coal stockpiles.
Amid an ongoing coal crisis, the Ministry of Power on Tuesday, 12 October, asked states to utilise unallocated power of the central generating stations (CGS) to meet the requirements of their own consumers.
A statement from the ministry said that even as the demand from coal-based power plants has increased, it had been observed that some states are not supplying power to their consumers and imposing load-shedding in some areas.
"On the other hand, they are selling power in the power exchange at high price," a memorandum from the ministry stated.
As per the guidelines for allocation of power, 15 percent power from CGS is kept as “unallocated power”, which is allocated by the central government to needy states to meet the requirement of power of the consumers.
The memorandum asked states to use the unallocated power for supplying electricity to the consumers of the state.
"In case of surplus power, the states are requested to intimate so that this power can be reallocated to other needy states," it added.
In case any state is found to not be serving their consumers and selling power in the power exchanges at higher rate, the unallocated power of such states shall be withdrawn and allocated to other needy states, it added.
India’s power sector is in the middle of a storm as its coal-fired power plants, responsible for generating 70 percent of India’s electricity, face a shortage in coal stockpiles.
As per data from the Central Electricity Authority (CEA), over half of the country's 135 coal-fired power plants were left with an average of less than four days of coal stocks in September-end, down from the average of 13 days at the start of August.
The ministry's statement came after states expressed concerns about surging power prices on exchanges, with the Indian Exchange reaching Rs 20 a unit on Tuesday, Reuters reported.
Noting a steep increase to Rs 15 per unit of power between mid-September and 8 October, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and urged for an increase in the supply of coal, Reuters reported.
Day-ahead prices of power at Indian Exchange have surged to ₹ 20 a unit, according to its website on Tuesday.
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