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created Oct 14th, 01:20 by sachin bansod



355 words
71 completed
An energy crisis was the last thing policymakers had expected in the aftermath of Covid-19. But here we are, facing an unprecedented energy crisis, not just in India but in many other parts of the world. Even as the Delhi chief minister sent an SOS to the Central government warning of possible power outage, many other states like Punjab, Gujarat and Jharkhand also likely face possible disruption in electricity supply. The reason is the shortage of coal as 110 out of 135 power stations have stocks of less than four-five days. Power companies attribute it to a sudden rise in electricity demand, something they were not prepared to handle. According to the Ministry of Power, electricity consumption for the period August-September 2021 has increased by 18% in comparison to the corresponding period in 2019. Initially, some large private sector power companies did not take the issue that seriously as they were largely import dependent and thought the problem was mainly due to the inability of Coal India to supply the fuel. Some said that if at all, they would face a shortage not before December as they had ‘secured’ stocks for at least a quarter. Perhaps they failed to see the global nature of the crisis and the likely surge in coal prices, making it unviable for many of them to import the fuel.
Coal prices have more than doubled since the beginning of the year and risen 57% since August. The crisis is also said to be partly because of the global race to reduce dependency on fossil fuels. The race to become green has resulted in many countries shutting down coal mines and oil rigs. China, which was on a spree to shut down coal mines in its efforts to achieve carbon neutrality, has been forced to reopen several mines and scale up production. The recent power crisis is as much a tale of mismanagement as a stark reminder of our dependence on fossil fuels. The crisis might also be a setback for all the efforts towards greener energy as several countries are scaling up their coal production and coal-based power plants.

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