Blackout | India | 08th September 2022 | Virtual Wire
India is facing its worst ever coal crisis due to alarmingly low levels of fuel stock at thermal power stations.
As on September 30, an unprecedented 77% of the country's monitored thermal power was operating on the critical stock. The shortage of coal stocks has raised concerns about a possible electricity shortage, as coal-powered projects totalling 202.22 gigawatts account for more than half of India's power generation capacity.
There are several reasons why the coal crisis occurred-
Demand and Supply
Post Covid-19 businesses in the countries like China, followed by India, are taking place at a faster rate than expected, leaving many economic sectors unprepared. A sudden pandemic-induced worldwide lockdown caused a drop in demand in eight crore sectors in 2020, including coal production, transportation, and supply. The sudden surge in unexpected demand has pushed the coal prices at the international level as well, which has caused the price of imported coal in India to skyrocket.
Rain has also affected the transportation of coal from mines to power plants, contributing to the issue of coal shortage.
India's power sector was affected by the western countries' push toward renewable energy. In spite of global calls to switch to renewable sources of energy, coal and lignite-fired thermal power plants account for about 54% of India's installed power generation capacity and currently generate about 70% of power in the country.
Centralized Power System
Due to the centralization of the entire power system, this problem had to hit India at some point. In order to make the situation better, the power ministry issued guidelines for operationalizing optimum utilization of generating stations as per the needs of the electricity grid, allowing coal-based plants to operate and relieve domestic coal of its load. A decentralized energy/power source and sustainable resource use would help a country like India prevent such crises.
Thus, there is a great need to take measures to prevent blackouts. Overgrown trees that interfere with electrical lines are one of the most frequent preventable causes of power outages. By keeping an eye on the height of the trees surrounding the building, we can reduce the likelihood of a blackout. If the tree gets close to the power wires then a person should contact the local council or the local energy provider. A lot of residential blackouts occur due to increased energy usage. The amount of energy consumption can be reduced by undertaking the following measures-
Any non-used tools, equipment, or appliances should be turned off. To ensure that no further energy is used by inactive appliances, turn them off at the wall or unplug them. Make sure you have curtains and shutters that can block the hot sun while letting the cold air in. Additional measures will be taken by your local energy supplier to prevent needless power outages. These measures could include proactive tree pruning, thermographic surveys, wildlife protection equipment (which lessens contact with birds and other animals), routine power line repair, and inspection and upkeep. It is very important to conserve energy in order to preserve the future.