The country is at high risk of nighttime power outages this summer and for years to come. The main reason for this is the delay in increasing the coal based and hydro power capacity. Solar energy availability has also not been done on such a large scale. In such a situation, there may be difficulties in meeting the needs of electricity. However, a rapid growth has been observed in solar farms which can fill the day time supply gap. Despite this, the decline in capacity of coal-fired and hydro-based plants is a matter of concern. According to Reuters, government data and internal documents suggest that millions of people could face massive outages overnight.
Power availability in ‘non-solar hovers’ in April this year could be as low as 1.7 per cent on high demand days. This information has been received after reviewing the internal note from the Federal Grid Regulator. In April, 217 GW of electricity may be needed during the night, which is 6.4 percent more than last year. This figure has been presented by the Grid Controller of India Limited. Regarding this, Grid-India says that this situation is really worrying.
Electricity demand will increase with increasing heat
People’s air conditioners will need more power to face the kind of scorching heat that India is going to face this year. Industries may face difficulties due to power cut during night time where work goes on for almost 24 hours. This will also affect auto, electronics, steel bar and fertilizer manufacturing plants. Former head of the Indian paper industry body P.G. Mukundan Nair has been active in paper manufacturing for nearly three decades. He said, “If there is a power cut even for a minute, there is a blockage in the paper pulp. This messes up the whole process and causes a loss of hundreds of thousands of rupees.
forecast of severe heat in the coming three months
The power shortage this summer could be worse than expected. In fact, the forecast put forth by Grid-India came weeks before the March-May summer forecast by the Indian Meteorological Department. According to the Meteorological Department, the coming three months are going to be stormy. Issuing a fresh alert, the department said that during the March to May season, heatwave is more likely to occur in many areas of central and adjoining northwest India. The incidence of heatwave will be less in the month of March in Central India. However, after that it will increase.
Government officials said – preparations are complete
India’s Federal Power Secretary Alok Kumar downplays these concerns. He said that the government has taken all necessary steps to avoid power cuts. We are making capacity available to all states at competitive rates, Kumar told Reuters. Another senior government official said following the Grid-India report, the government has stepped up maintenance of some coal-fired power plants. Along with this, additional gas-fired capacity is also being increased.
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