India’s coal-fired power plants are running dangerously low; A look at the ongoing energy crisis

Worsening of the supply of natural gas, coal, and other energy sources across the world is in talks now, and among that India stands in one of the leading positions.  India was threatened with a large-scale power crisis due to a coal supply shortage. As per reports, India is the latest country to face a severe energy crisis with the country’s power plants running low on supply. It was reported that the country had failed to produce enough coal because of heavy monsoon rain which affected its production and mining.

India is not the only country to suffer from a rise in coal prices. China has also experienced large-scale power cuts, with major cities blacking out and electricity rationing enforced. Moreover, the price of natural gas has risen in Europe this year while several factories in China have shut down due to power disruptions linked to the short supply of coal. 

Coal is used to produce almost 70 % of electricity and Metallurgical (coking) coal is a key ingredient in steelmaking. Cement and chemical production also take place with the use of coal, so lack of carbon-involved material would definitely create an impact in Indian industry especially in the manufacturing sector.

India’s power plants are also running on critically low coal stocks. Meanwhile, The U.K. has witnessed many of its fuel pumps running dry and the country’s military is taking measures to solve the issue. The surge in prices of energy from Europe has made India’s economic sector work lower and has made the supply standstill.

India’s power ministry has said that the 135 thermal power plants operating in the country had an average of just four days of coal stocks as of now. According to reports, 16 of India’s 135 coal-fired power plants had zero coal stocks as of September 29. Over 80% of the plants had less than a week’s stock left. The other part is also not steady that over half of them had stocks that would last fewer than three days.

Energy crisis

According to analysts, one of the reasons for the energy crisis due to the rise in prices found to be the bounce back witnessed in consumer demand as economic activity returns to normal after the pandemic. The other reason is found to be ‘greenflation’ caused by increasing restrictions placed by governments on traditional energy sources. 

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Meanwhile, it is also believed that heavy September rains in coal-mining areas had hit both production and delivery of coal, while plants themselves had failed to build up their stocks prior to the monsoon season. The power ministry pointed out the points on how the country, in fact, the world is witnessing an energy crisis.