NEW DELHI : India’s Energy Minister RK Singh said on Tuesday that the picture for coal stocks in the country is improving as imported coal begins to flow.
Given the government’s emphasis on imported coal to store fossil fuels in power plants, Singh told reporters here that almost every state has begun the process of importing coal.
The ministry had ordered power generation companies on June 1 to begin the process of importing coal by June 3 or else they would only allocate 70 percent of their domestic coal needs.
Responding to a question about the situation of coal stocks, the Minister said: “What has happened is that Coal India Ltd has increased production, but not to the extent that was now needed…so Basically, our domestic coal reserves have started to fall from 24 million tons on April 1 in the power plant to around 18.5 on May 31. Now the imports have started coming in so now…”
He also said the domestic coal reserve stock has now increased to around 20 million tonnes.
Singh also said India would increase its coal production given the high demand for electricity in the country.
“Day to day, my demand is 40,000 to 45,000 MW more than the corresponding day last year. My energy demand or energy consumption has increased from 3,500 million (3.5 billion ) units on average to 4,500 million (4.5 billion) units. That’s an increase of 1,000 million (1 billion) units day-to-day,” he said.
With the ongoing heat wave in parts of the country, demand for electricity has increased over the past few days, with the maximum demand for electricity satisfied exceeding the 200 GW mark. As of June 6, the maximum satisfied power demand stood at 202.439 GW and the peak shortage at 1.628 GW.
Demand is expected to increase further given projections of a continued heat wave. The Indian meteorological department has forecast that heat wave conditions are likely to prevail again due to the influence of dry and hot westerly winds blowing from the direction of Pakistan.
On Monday, India’s meteorological department projected heat wave conditions in isolated pockets of northwest, central and eastern India for the next 3-4 days.
“From May 31 to June 2, the impact of the lower level easterly winds has diminished and there has been an increase in the drier and warmer west towards Pakistan, making the northwestern and central India even drier and also hotter,” an IMD official said.
In a further development, the Minister for Energy also announced on Tuesday that the 2022 Open Access Green Rules stipulated that commercial and industrial consumers are now allowed to purchase green energy on a voluntary basis. The rules were notified earlier today.
Singh said with the new rules in place, captive consumers can take power under “Green Open Access” with no minimum limitation and discoms can ask them to source green energy. If the application for green energy supply is not approved within 15 days, it will be deemed approved, he added.
Green open access is allowed to any consumer and the “open access transaction” limit has been reduced from 1 MW to 100 kW for green energy, to allow small consumers to also buy renewable energy via open access.
There will be a uniform, renewable purchase obligation, across all obligated entities in the area of distribution licensees, an official statement said. It has also included green hydrogen in its scope for achieving RPO.
To subscribe to Mint Bulletins
* Enter a valid email
* Thank you for subscribing to our newsletter.