The third largest electricity producer and consumer across the globe, India witnessed a surge in its power consumption by 25 per cent in the first week of May, to 26.24 billion units (BU) as compared to the same period’s output last year. This testifies the consistent recuperation of the commercial and industrial electricity demand, as per the data from power ministry.
The surge in the nation’s instantaneous power demand has resulted in private enterprises like Adani Group Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra and Pinnacle Exploration in Jharkhand, undertaking coal mining projects for bolstering power generation.
The highest power demand met in a day in the first week of May crossed the numbers recorded in the same time last year – 166.22GW. The average daily peak power demand met consistently broke last year’s records, except on May 2 when it dropped to 161.14GW
The total number of power units supplied within 24 hours is called Energy met, while the highest demand for electricity that transpires within a specific period of time is denoted as Peak demand.
The second tranche of commercial coal mine auctions commenced on 25th March. As coal accounts for more than three-thirds of the nation’s energy mix and around 60 per cent of its electricity mix, commercial coal mining augurs well with meeting the power demand of India.
Moreover, CG Naturals Resources Ltd, a subsidiary company of Adani Group, was the preferred bidder for Chhattisgarh Jhigador coal mine. The company outmaneuvered Aurobindo Reality and Infrastructure and emerged as the highest bidder for the Chhattisgarh mine.
Sunflag Iron and Steel also participated in the bidding process for the Gondhkari mine in Maharasthra, which has geological reserves of 98.71 million tonnes. On the other hand, the Jhigador mine In Chhattisgarh, won by Adani Group Chhattisgarh, has geological reserves of 250 million tonnes.
Other potential bidders for the Jharkhand mine included Hiltop Hirise Pvt Ltd and Dhansar Engineering Co. The Jogeshwar and Khas Jogeshwar’s partially explored mine has 84.03 million tonnes of geological reserves.
The coal ministry has put out nineteen mines for auction in the second tranche. Out of them, ten are fully-explored and nine are partially-explored. Fifteen are non-coking mines and four are coking mines.
While the nation has embarked on the journey to turn carbon neutral and the adoption of renewable sources of energy is on a surge, this does not wholly describe India’s energy dynamics. Coal still plays a vital role in meeting the growing power demand of the nation and the commercial coal auctions are driving productivity in the sector.
Balancing demand and supply will be paramount to India’s power policy going forward. Facilities for power storage and load shifting, along with flexible rates for electricity will prove to be necessary tools in this regard.
The installed capacity for India’s national electric grid was 383.37 GW till May 31, 2021.