Though the drop in temperature on Friday slightly reduced the demand for power supply, experts in the energy sector said that the problem of load-shedding may continue till December. However, energy minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule said it is a temporary phase and won’t last more than 15 days. The government has blamed load-shedding on the unavailability of coal from mines across the country.
In Maharashtra particularly, a few units of private thermal power generation plants have also closed down including those belonging to Adani Power and RattanIndia in the absence of coal. The state’s present potential of power generation is only 14,500 mw to 15,500 mw against a demand of 16,000 to 17,000 mw.
Mr Bawankule said there is a shortage of about 2,000 mw of power. “There is no power in open grid, wind energy, nuclear energy and hydro energy projects are closed. The coal supply was affected after rainfall in coalmines. But we will reduce the load-shedding and it will not last for more than 15 days,” he said.
Coal supply from one of the major suppliers, Western India Coalfield, has reduced to 60 per cent from usual 70-75 per cent, causing shortage. According to information from Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL), the Adani thermal power plant in Tiroda is generating 1,749 mw against its capacity of 3,085 mw.
The Wagholi plant of RattanIndia Power Limited has a potential of 1,200 mw but is generating only 383 mw. The Jindal Thermal Power Plant in Boisar is generating 313 mw as per its normal capacity as the company has bought coal from abroad.
The Maharashtra state electricity generation company (MSEB) is not generating power to its fullest potential. While the power exchange between states can bring up to 500 mw energy, the Centre’s deep portal has received bids for supplying only 200 mw of power.
Ashok Pendse, energy expert and consumer representative, said it would be difficult to normalise the situation till December. “Even if the government is ready to pay more, the power is not available in the market due to the coal shortage. The people are not bothered about technical issues, they want electricity,” Mr Pendse said.