Data from the coal ministry showed that from about 50 auctioned coal mines under the private sector since February 2020, at least three have become operational. Overall, since 2019, about 27 coal mines, across all sectors, have been operationalised so far.
Despite record coal production, in April-May 2022, many states in the country faced hours of outages because of an unrelenting surge in power demand due to heatwaves, rapid economic recovery, and shortage of coal to generate power.
This would be a 16.6 percent growth sequentially in coal despatch to its non-regulated sector (NRS) customers
This milestone, accomplished on Friday, surpassed the earlier feat of 12.94 MT logged in fiscal 2014-15, said the official.
Although supplies to non-power industries have improved in recent months, companies remain wary of shipments thinning out when demand from power stations soars during the hot season starting in April.
Nearly three years ago NTPC had planned to make green coal (torrefied charcoal) from municipal waste, a company statement said.
Along with increased production and pithead stocks, the miner has asked power producers to hold higher inventory and is following up on payments due.
It also said keeping in view the rising demand in the next few years, comprehensive planning of an energy corridor has been done with planned investment of Rs 1 lakh crore for over around 100 projects.
A rapid addition of solar farms has helped India avert daytime supply gaps, but a shortage of coal-fired and hydropower capacity risks exposing millions to widespread outages at night, government data and internal documents reviewed by Reuters show.
The study, conducted by Margaux MacDonald and John Spray, notes that the two steps would also decrease coal imports by 14 per cent by 2030, thus increasing resilience to global changes in energy prices and improving energy security.
However, the government said that a captive plant shall be exempt from the requirement of RGO, if it fulfils the Renewable Purchase Obligations as notified by the central government.
Many states and distribution companies, based on commercial considerations, started making an exit from PPAs of costlier plants (non-pit head coal stations and gas-based thermal generating station) while retaining the PPAs of cheaper plants. This is also leading to generation capacity crunch especially during the peak demand season.
However, ICRA’s outlook for the power distribution segment remains negative. In this context, it said, timely issuance of tariff orders with adequate tariff hikes by the state electricity regulators remains important.
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So far, a total of 18 blocks have been bid for, where Shree Cement, Dalmia Cement, JSW Steel, Ambuja Cement, JSW Cement, and Jindal Power, among others, were the winning bidders
The country's coal output was at 681.5 MT in the year-ago period, as per provisional figures of the coal ministry.
Satyadeep Jain, an analyst at Ambit Capital, also pointed out that coal stock positions at power stations look better than the levels seen a year ago.
Adani Group has begun discussions with global credit funds to raise up to $400 million in debt against assets of a key coal port that makes up a large portion of the Indian conglomerate's Australian exports of the solid fossil fuel from Carmichael mine.
The government has asked all power plants that use imported coal to operate at full capacity, anticipating an increase in peak electricity demand in the country.
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This order (under Section 11 of the Electricity Act) shall remain valid for generation and supply of power from March 16, 2023 to June 15, 2023, stated a notice sent to 15 thermal plants that use imported coal.
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The government intends to roll out HP-DAM soon so as to meet the spurt in power demand that is expected during the summer months. In April-May last year, many states in the country faced hours of outages because of an unrelenting surge in power demand due to a sudden heatwave, rapid economic recovery and shortage of coal to generate power.
Most power producers are now looking at renewables and may not necessarily be interested in more investment in thermal energy as a strategic priority.
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