India’s power shortage in March is the worst since October’s coal crisis

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India’s March 1-30 power shortage was the worst since October 2021, a Reuters analysis of government data has revealed, reflecting a surge in demand.

As producers scramble to meet demand, a decline in the national coal inventory is forcing the government to withhold supply to other sectors and suspend fuel auctions by companies that have no contracted supplies.

Many northern states suffered hour-long power outages in October as a crippling coal shortage caused the worst power shortage in nearly five years.

The deficit in March was 574 million kilowatt-hours, a measure that multiplies power level by duration, a Reuters analysis of data from federal grid regulator POSOCO showed.

That represented 0.5% of total demand for the period, or half of the 1% deficit in October.

Bottlenecks in eastern Jharkhand state and northern Uttarakhand exceeded October’s, the data showed.

The southern state of Andhra Pradesh and the resort of Goa, which had marginal shortages in October, suffered deficits several times larger in March.

The northern states of Haryana, Rajasthan and Punjab and the eastern state of Bihar, some parts of which suffered widespread defaults in October, accounted for most of the deficit in March, but deficits were smaller, the data showed.

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