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India increases coal usage due to dry August

India has resorted to using coal to generate electricity

Recently, due to a lack of monsoon showers during August, India has been suffering from power outages. It is because the hydroelectric stations have been unable to generate adequate power. Thus, India has resorted to using coal for electricity generation.

According to usual trends, electricity usage dips in August rather than spikes. This is because the country experiences its annual seasonal rainfall in August. Electricity usage is generally higher in May to beat the summer heat. However, the lack of rain has reversed the consumption. 

(Image Source: Reuters)

According to third-party analysis, this is the driest August in a century. Electricity consumption has reached a record high of 162.7 billion kilowatt-hours (units).

Coal usage to generate power reached a high of 66.7% in August. This is the highest it has been in the past six years. The minimal rainfall leads to a hydroelectric output of 14.8%. It is lower than the past figure of 18.1% for the same period. 

The government of India has defended its use of coal to generate electricity. It cites that its carbon emissions are lower than those of other nations and that it is working towards renewable energy. 

India faces low imports and renewable challenges.

Although the demand for coal has increased, there has been a decrease in imports. Power plants have cut their coal imports by 24% to 17.85 million metric tons. It happened during the first four months of the fiscal year, in March 2024.

The demand for coal peaked on August 31, 2023. The energy requirement rose to 243.9 gigawatts (GW) compared to the base capacity of 7.3 GW. 

The country has been unable to achieve its goal of installing 175 GW of renewable energy. Thus, it wants to increase non-fossil fuel energy generation such as wind, solar, hydro, etc. Renewable sources will contribute 500 GW to total energy generation by 2030.

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