Come September: Can coal-based plants sing a happier tune?

Date and time: 31 July, 2019 | 3 PM

Every year, around September, when the monsoon in India begins to wane, electricity demand begins to pick up as temperatures rise and agricultural demand increases. At the same time, electricity generation from sources such as wind power and hydro, which tend to peak in the monsoon months, begin to decrease. This increases the electricity requirement from coal-based plants.However, in spite of such predictable seasonal increase in demand for coal-based generation in the post monsoon months, coal-based power plants report a severe shortage of domestic coal supply each year in the months of September, October and November. In order to make-up for this shortfall in domestic coal supply, either coal is procured from more expensive sources (such as imports or e-auctions), or more expensive electricity is purchased from short-term markets. This leads to increased electricity prices for consumers and hence is an important issue to understand and overcome.

In this webinar, we discussed the extent of shortage in supply of domestic coal to power plants based on an analysis of the last two years' data, and looked at possible ways to overcome it. Three different ways of alleviating the shortage were examined and discussed, leading to a set of recommendations for consideration. Some other open issues that also need to be resolved were presented. This webinar was based on our recently released paper Come September: Can coal-based plants sing a happier tune?

Speaker: Ashok Sreenivas, Prayas (Energy Group)

Organiser: Ashwini Chitnis, Prayas (Energy Group)

The presentation made at the webinar and its full recording can be accessed below.