India preparing for uptrend in electricity consumption

Shopkeepers wait for customers at a wholesale electronics market in Kolkata, India, April 12, 2024. REUTERS/Sahiba Chawdhary

NEW DELHI: India has asked companies to operate underutilised gas-based power plants in May and June, and extend operations of imported coal-based plants until Oct 15 to meet anticipated high demand for electricity.

The South Asian nation registered an 8% rise in electricity consumption in the financial year that ended last month and demand is expected to rise in the hot summer months.

In an order last Friday, the government for the first time invoked an emergency clause mandating companies to operate underutilised gas-based power plants by importing the fuel.

India has about 24 gigawatts of gas-based power plants that have been idling or underused for decades due to lack of fuel. Power stations will be informed two weeks in advance about the requirements so they can import gas.

Gas-based power plants are required to meet the anticipated surge in power consumption in summer months.

Torrent and NTPC are among the big gas-based power station companies.

The government invoked an emergency clause directing companies such as Tata Power and Adani Power – which are operating imported coal-fired plants with a capacity of nearly 16 gigawatts – to continue operations. — Reuters

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