Karnataka would be relying on renewable energy to reduce load shedding
in the state. The Chief Minister of Karnataka H D Kumaraswamy has directed its officials to ensure that there was no interruption in power supply in the state. The state could be using hydro and solar energy to avoid load-shedding.
Thermal Power Plants in India are reeling through coal crisis. In Karnataka, Raichur Thermal Power Plant is facing the crisis. The capacity of the plant is 1,720 MW. The plant has been a short supply of coal by about 6 Lakh MT of coal. According to a tweet of the Chief Minister the plant has a zero coal stock. He has requested the Union Coal Minister Piyush Goyal to look into the matter.
Other Power Plants in India are also reeling in a similar situation due to shortages in coal supply. On top of that, a spike in diesel prices has also added stress to them. Currently, diesel prices in India are hovering around INR 80 per Litre. Many industrial units and captive consumers are switching to the grid to meet their electricity demand
. Further, there is a fall in power generation from Hydro Power Plants due to post-monsoon effect and we also have October Heat. Together these events have stretched the thermal resources and has added pressure on DISCOMS who are resorting to load shedding.
Complementing roles of renewable energy will help Karnataka to keep up with the demand
Although Thermal Power Plants cannot be written down in the context of Indian Power Sector the role of renewable energy in complementing them will be indispensable. It is imperative to ensure that the Thermal Power Plants in India also operate on low emitting multiple fuels. NTPC is working in that direction to support their existing thermal power plants using renewable energy. NTPC may also use rooftop solar on the premises of its Thermal Power Plants to meet their auxiliary consumption. Karnataka too shall replicate these models towards using renewable energy to reduce the dependency of its power plants on coal.
Small renewable energy plants such as rooftop solar can complement the state DISCOMs which resort to load shedding for multiple reasons. One among them is the lower generation from thermal power plants. To offset the issue during day hours Karnataka can harness its renewable energy in form of rooftop solar. If end consumers are able to meet their day-time demand from small renewable energy plants their multiplying effect will be reflected on Thermal Power Plants. Similarly, Biomass will also help the state to offset the fuel contingency.
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