New Delhi, May 11 -- At a time when high power demand and lower availability of coal has caused electricity shortage in several parts of the country, data from the power ministry showed that India's electricity generation increased 8.5% in FY22 as of 31 January, to about 1,234.29 billion units.
The total electricity generation in the country nearly doubled from 624.2 billion units in 2005-06, showed the ministry's annual report. Coal-based power generation during 2021-22 (up to January 2022) was 850.84 billion units showing growth of 11.2% over the same period of previous year.
With the government's focus on renewable energy and to achieve carbon neutrality targets, the generation from renewable sources, other than hydropower, in 2021-22 was 141.28 billion units, 14.5% higher than the generation of 123.42 billion units during corresponding period previous year showing growth of 14.5%.
The report further said that while India is committed to its goal for energy transition, in medium term transition phase thermal generation would play a great supportive role in achieving the goal in most reliable and economic way.
"The goal toward energy transition needs to be achieved by following a just transition path with thermal power generation contribution in achieving affordable energy access for the general public along with secure and reliable operation of integrated national grid," it said.
The report said that the policy of the union ministry of power to keep a diversified portfolio of generating resources rather than depending upon on single technology or source helped the country in meeting demand of electricity.
During 2021-22, as of January 31, 2022 the contribution of thermal generation was 74%. Out of total electricity generation of 1,234.3 billion units, thermal power contributed 913.19 billion units.
The power demand in the country in the last financial year, crossed 200 GW and thermal generation enabled the country to meet the increased electricity requirement in post Covid recovery phase, it said.
In the current financial year too, with the early onset of summers, the power demand has shot up leading to concerns of coal shortage and eventual power outages. As several states have witnessed power outages in the past one month, Centre has been monitoring the situation and taking steps to ease the supply scenario.
Among several steps to meet the power demand, Centre has also asked states to procure coal through the rail-cum-road (RCR) route. If they are unable to do it, the allocation of the state will be cancelled and that coal would be made available to other states requiring fuel for their gencos.
Under RCR route, the arrangement for coal offtake and transportation has to be arranged by the power utilities that needs fuel rather than Coal India arranging the supplies. This is the coal that is lying at out at the pit head of several coal mines.
The union ministry of power, on May 5, 2022, issued a directive under Section 11 of the Electricity Act, stating that all imported coal-based power plants shall operate and generate power at their full capacity to meet the growing demand. As per this directive, all states and power generation companies based on domestic coal have been asked to import at least 10% of their fuel requirement for blending with domestic coal and meet the growing demand for electricity. The directive is valid till October 31, 2022. Published by HT Digital Content Services with permission from MINT. For any query with respect to this article or any other content requirement, please contact Editor at email@example.com