India anticipates its largest power deficit in 14 years in June; hydropower generation dips

The projected numbers for capacity and power consumption have never before been made public.


According to its administration, which spoke to Reuters, India is expecting its largest power deficit in 14 years in June as a result of a decline in hydropower generation. The country is working quickly to prevent blackouts by postponing scheduled plant maintenance and reopening idled units.

As per a government source, the imbalance partly results from delays in the commissioning of 3.6 GW of new coal-fired power facilities, which were supposed to go online by March.

Since solar capacity remains down at night in June, a 14 GW peak shortfall is anticipated, according to a statement from the Central Electricity Authority, the nation’s power sector planning authority, to Reuters.

“The planning process relies on worst-case scenarios,” it added.

According to the announcement, grid administrator Grid-India anticipates a maximum nighttime demand of 235 GW in June.

In an emergency meeting last week, Power Minister R K Singh resolved to resurrect 5 GW of idled coal plant capacity and postpone shutting down power facilities for scheduled maintenance in June, according to two different government officials who attended the meeting.

“All efforts have been made to maximise generation, and with the measures in place it is expected that the power demand would be adequately met during the day and the non-solar hours in the coming months including June 2024,” the statement added.

According to government sources, there is around 187 GW of thermal capacity available on the supply side, of which about 34 GW comes from renewable sources.

India has long defended the use of coal, but in order to concentrate on the transition to green energy and fulfill its net zero emission targets by 2070, the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has delayed capacity growth based on the highly polluting fuel.

Though the country is under pressure from wealthier economies to stop using coal, plans for constructing new coal-fired power plants gained pace last year. However, it will take at least four years for them to start producing electricity in the country.