Power Ministry Aims To Beat the Heatwave Without Blackouts

The Ministry of Power (MOP) and New & Renewable Energy (NRE) is taking proactive measures to ensure uninterrupted electricity supply during the upcoming summer season. This is in anticipation of a rise in demand due to higher temperatures. A press release on these measures was issued on April 2, 2024.

These measures are as follows:

  • Minimizing Partial Outages: The government is working with thermal power plants to reduce outages and maximize available capacity.
  • Addressing Non-Operational Plants: A review of non-functional power plants (5.2 GW capacity) is underway to bring them back online.
  • Strategic Maintenance: Planned maintenance of power plants is being rescheduled to the monsoon season, minimizing disruptions during peak summer.
  • Fast-Tracking New Capacity: Expediting the commissioning of new coal, hydro, nuclear, solar, and wind power plants is a priority.
  • Utilizing Surplus Power: Exploring ways to utilize surplus power from captive generating stations for broader distribution.
  • Mandatory Power Exchange Participation: All thermal power plants are mandated to offer surplus power on power exchanges, ensuring efficient allocation.
  • Ensuring Minimum Power Generation: A uniform minimum power generation requirement of 55% capacity may be implemented for coal-based plants to maintain grid stability.
  • Gas-Based Power Plant Review: The operationalization of gas-based power plants will be assessed to meet summer demand. Issuing directions under the Electricity Act may be considered to ensure their operation.
  • Extending Directions for Imported Coal Plants: Directions requiring imported coal-based plants to operate may be extended until September 2024 to supplement power supply.

The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) predicts higher-than-normal temperatures across the country, leading to a projected increase in electricity demand. Peak energy demand has already grown by 12.7% compared to the previous year, highlighting the rising need for power.

These measures aim to bridge the gap between anticipated demand and available power, preventing load shedding during the summer months.