India witnessed a power shortage of one per cent in the April-June period this fiscal, with an electricity supply of 400.65 billion units (BU) against the requirement of 404.76 BU, Parliament was informed on Tuesday.
"Further, during 2022-23 (April-June), against the requirement of 404.76 Billion Units (BU), the energy supplied was 400.65 BU. There was a shortage of 1 per cent of energy requirement," Union Power Minister RK Singh said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.
The minister explained to the House that the gap is generally on account of factors other than inadequacy of power availability in the country, such as constraints in the distribution network, financial constraints, commercial reasons, forced outage of generating units etc.
In another reply, the minister told the House that 325.62 BU or 75 per cent of the total power generation was from thermal projects, which include coal, lignite, gas and diesel.
Renewable energy, including large hydro plants, output was 92.85 BU or 21.6 per cent of total power generation in the country.
About the coal shortage, the minister informed that as of March 31, 2022, the coal stock was 25.6 Million Tonnes (MT) and has increased to 28.4 MT as of July 17, 2022, which is about 50 per cent of the normative coal stock required to be maintained by the TPPs (third-party providers).
The coal stock available as of July 17, 2022, is sufficient to run these power plants for an average of 10 days at 85 per cent plant load factor (PLF), the minister stated.
The coal stock available with the thermal power plants, including import, is monitored by Central Electricity Authority (CEA) on daily basis.
In another reply, the minister said that a scheme for viability gap funding for Battery Energy Storage Systems (BEEs) and Pump Storage Projects (PSP) is under consideration by the government.
The PLF (plant load factor or capacity utilisation) of coal/lignite-based power plants of capacity 25 MW and above during the year 2021-22 was 58.87 per cent.
In 2022-23, the electricity demand has increased and power plants are generating electricity as per the schedule given to them. The PLF for coal/lignite-based power plants in 2022-23 up to June 2022 is around 69.5 per cent, the minister stated.