India’s Coal Power Demand Hits Record High on Extreme Heat

India’s coal-based power demand rose to a record high in fiscal year 2024 as the country faced its longest-ever heatwave, which maintained a strong need for electricity.

The Ministry of Coal said demand for the key commodity has climbed 7.30% annually so far this financial year, marking an all-time high.

Consumption in Indian coal-based power plants surged 183.61 million tons in the three months ending June 15 from 171.15 million tons posted the year prior. Daily consumption also increased to 2.42 million tons in the period from 2.25 million tons.

The Ministry stated that thermal power plants (TPPs) maintained a sufficient coal supply amid the elevated demand for power. As of June 16, coal stocks at TPPs were above 45 million tons, or 31.71% year over year (YoY).

India Keeping Ample Coal Stocks Amid Longest Heatwave Spell

India continues to have a robust coal supply to distribute across the power sector amid the extreme heat driving electricity demand.

According to the Ministry, the overall stock of the critical commodity at mines and power plants and those being shipped were currently over 144.68 million tons.

Cumulative coal output also reached 207.48 million tons as of June 16, rising 9.27% YoY from the same period a year earlier. Additionally, Coal India Ltd.’s (CIL) production was up 7.28% on an annual basis to 160.25 million tons.

Coal accounted for over 75% of the country’s power sourcing in 2023, while power plants running on gas represented around 2.0% in recent years due to high gas prices relative to the key commodity.

For this month, the India Meteorological Department (MID) expects above-average temperatures to hit the northwest and central areas of the country.

Searing temperatures in India have led power demand to an all-time high of 250 gigawatts (GW) in May and 240 GW on Monday. Such temperatures are also peaking in the evening.

The Ministry said it is committed to increasing coal output and transportation to ensure power plants have sufficient supplies to meet high electricity demand.

The country’s power consumption has increased more than 10% this year, logging an 11% YoY surge in April and climbing to its sharpest of 15% YoY in the following month.

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