The government has asked power companies to ensure that there is no load shedding during the summer season and urged all stakeholders to take proactive actions to meet the rising electricity demand.
Union Power Minister R K Singh chaired a review meeting on March 7, with senior officials from Power, Coal and Railways ministries on various aspects in a bid to meet high electricity demand in the ensuing summer months.
During the meeting, Mr Singh asked power companies to ensure that there is no load-shedding during the summer months, a power ministry statement said.
He asked all stakeholders to closely monitor the situation and take proactive actions to meet the electricity demand during the coming months.
He also asked the Central Electricity Authority to ensure that a fair and transparent mechanism is devised for allocation of coal to various States/UTs.
As per estimates of the Central Electricity Authority, the peak electricity demand is expected to be 229 GW during April this year. The demand then tapers off as monsoon season picks up from the southern part of the country and covers the whole country over the next 3-4 months, it said.
With GDP growing at close to 7 per cent, the power demand has been growing in the country at close to 10 per cent per annum, it added.
As per estimates, energy demand is expected to be 1,42,097 MU during April this year, highest in the year, before reducing to 1.41,464 MU in May and further declining to 1,17,049 MU during November, it said.
The power ministry has devised a multi-pronged strategy to ensure adequate availability of power during the upcoming summer months, it stated.
As part of the strategy, the power utilities have been directed to undertake maintenance for coal-based power plants well in advance so that no planned maintenance is required during the crunch period, it said.
Directions have already been issued under section-11 (of electricity act) to all imported coal-based plants to run at full capacity from March 16, 2023.
Adequate coal stocks would be made available at the coal-based power plants.
The Ministry of Railways agreed to provide 418 rakes to different subsidiaries of CIL, GSS and captive blocks and also enhance the number of rakes in due course so that sufficient coal stock can be maintained at power plants, it stated.
Gas-based power would be used to meet any peak demand, it stated.
The ministry has directed NTPC to run its 5,000 MW gas-based power stations during the crunch period in April-May.
In addition, 4,000 MW of additional gas-based power capacity would be added by other entities for availability during the summer months.
GAIL has already assured the Ministry of Power of the necessary supply of gas during the summer months.
All the hydro plants have been instructed to operate in consultation with RLDCs/SLDCs (Regional/State Load Dispatch Centers) to optimize water utilization in the current month for better availability during the next month.
An additional capacity of 2,920 MW would be available through new coal-based plants which would be commissioned by the end of this month.
In addition, after direction from the Ministry, two units at Barauni (2X110MW) will be made available during crunch period.