The government said that on Tuesday it restored 5 Gw electricity generation capacity that was non-operational due to low coal inventories.
“Power System Operation Corporation Ltd (POSOCO) has reported that the total capacity of units under outage due to low coal stocks has reduced from 11 GW on Oct 12, to 6 GW on October 13,” a statement issued by the Union power ministry late on Tuesday said.
Official data showed that on October 12, 142-Gw power projects of the 165-Gw were operating with stocks of seven days and the average coal stock was at four days.
“Absolute baseless! There is no shortage of anything. In fact, if I recall the minister’s statement, every power producing installation has the next four days’ stock absolutely available within their own premises and the supply chain has not broken at all,” Sitharaman said at Harvard Kennedy School in Boston.
Coal minister Pralhad Joshi on Wednesday tweeted that cumulative coal supplies to thermal power plants from all sources including Coal India recorded more than two million tonnes on Tuesday. “We are increasing coal dispatch to power plants further to ensure sufficient coal stocks at power plants,” he said.
Sitharaman said that power minister R K Singh went on record just two days ago when he said absolutely baseless information is floating around that there is probably shortage of coal, shortage of other inventories which will lead to a sudden gap in the supply demand situation in the energy consumption.
During the conversation organised by the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government, Sitharaman was asked by Harvard Professor Lawrence Summers about energy shortage and reports of reduced coal inventories in India.
“There are not going to be any deficiencies which may lead to any shortfall of supply. So that takes care of India’s power situation. We are now a power surplus country,” she said.
Sitharaman said India is always looking at ways in which it can be shifted in favor of renewable energy. “So the picture is not of short supply, but it’s also picture of newer components into the basket,” she said.