Chennai: A sharp increase in coal-fired generation witnessed in August pushed average coal stock held by Indian coal-fired plants down to just six days’ needs as of September 13, a near three-year low, compared with an April 2020 high of stocks lasting 31 days, latest federal power ministry data showed. Federal guidelines mandate utilities have stockpiles that last at least two weeks.
Renewable energy output rose 53.6 percent in September, driven by a more than doubling of wind power production and an 18.6 percent rise in solar power generation.
The share of coal in India’s overall electricity output fell to 65.7 percent in the first half of September, compared with 66.5 percent in August, the data showed. However, the shares of renewables rose to 12.1 percent from 11.9 percent in August. But, overall electricity generation growth slowed to 1 percent in the first half of September, a review of daily load despatch data by federal grid regulator POSOCO showed, much slower than the 16.1 percent growth in August which had resulted in a 23.7 percent increase in coal-fired output.
The slowdown in coal-fired power output and a pickup in renewable energy generation could provide relief to utilities across the country which are struggling with a coal shortage, forcing India to ask power plants to import coal.