Guwahati: To deal with the impending electricity crisis due to the shortage of coal supply to various power plants in the coming days, the Union government has taken prompt and effective steps. Union coal, mines, etc minister Pralhad Joshi informed that the cumulative coal supplies recorded more than two million ton on Tuesday and he assured that coal dispatch would be increased to ensure sufficient stock with power plants.
Mentionable is that expressing concern over the situation, All Assam Engineer’s Association (AAEA) advocated for a long-term strategy to overcome the crisis focusing on non-fossil fuel power (renewable energy) projects. The northeast Bharat-based graduate engineers’ forum also emphasized on the household solar power generation (for own consumption) initiative across the country.
The BJP led Union government continued serious discussions on the situation as the festive season has started in the populous country. Some higher energy consumed States like Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Punjab, Delhi, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, etc were identified as to be affected by the crisis, where the concerned authority have already urged the consumers to use the electricity judiciously.
According to the central electricity authority of India, around 75% of the country’s 135 coal-fired power plants are in serious trouble because of the lesser supply of coal from the mines for a number of reasons. The country’s government-run coal producer, Coal India Limited, assumes that the demand for electricity is rapidly increasing with near normal household and other economic activities after the corona-lockdown.
Thermal coal is accountable for nearly 70% of Bharat’s electricity generation. The country has to import a large volume of ‘black gold’ from Indonesia, South Africa, Russia, Australia, Colombia, Kazakhstan, Mozambique, etc. Though India has a large coal reserve, its heating quality is relatively low and hence the country emerges as the world’s third-largest coal importer. However, the government now seeks to cut the coal imports.
“The coal generated electricity is always expensive and it will increase further. Hence the government should consider gradually decreasing the use of coal & gas for turbines and starts activating the other means of power generation,” said AAEA president Er Kailash Sarma and secretary Er Inamul Hye, adding that the price of renewable energy like solar or wind power is going to be cheaper in the coming days.
The forum specially urged Prime Minister Modi to take personal interest in encouraging the Indian scientists to develop more efficient energy store-houses (read batteries) as a mission to overcome the crisis forever. As the electricity cannot be warehoused after production for the future use like other objects, it added, a scientific arrangement for preserving the energy for a longer period should be developed that would finally solve the power crisis for the one billion-plus nation.