This summer, power outages have come back to haunt us.
Some state discoms, which were earlier in denial mode, have now admitted to curtailing electricity supply. Some have branded load shedding as ‘power holidays’, while some others are managing the demand-supply mismatch under the guise of routine summer maintenance.
Different stakeholders have offered different reasons about what has caused this crisis. Those reasons include an increase in demand due to an early and harsh summer, the rise in economic activity, bottlenecks and limitations in transportation of coal from mines to power plants, the unfortunate timing of planned/unplanned maintenance shutdowns of power stations, as well as the high prices of imported coal and natural gas as a result of the Russia-Ukraine war.
These reasons may be mutually exclusive but are not collectively exhaustive. That is, while they do provide a sense of what is causing strained supplies in the immediate term, they miss highlighting what is at the core of the power shortage issue in India.