Rainfall could ease power crisis in India’s coal-producing areas: report

Rainfall could ease power crisis in India's coal-producing areas: report

India expects 103% of long-term average rainfall during the annual monsoon

New Delhi:

India expects rainfall to be lower than the long-term average this year in its largest coal-producing region in the east-central region, potentially reducing the coal deficit in utilities as floods could cause less disruption to mining operations.

East-Central India includes the states of Orissa, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and West Bengal, which together account for about half of the country’s annual coal production. Coal accounts for about 75% of India’s electricity generation.

India expects 103% of long-term average rainfall during the annual monsoon High rainfall in other parts of the country could increase hydropower generation and reduce demand for irrigated electricity, reducing the pressure on thermal power.

India has reversed its policy of reducing coal imports to zero, called for an emergency law to operate imported coal-based utilities and plans to reopen closed mines to meet growing electricity demand, which has been growing rapidly for at least 38 years.

Domestic coal production generally declines during the annual monsoon season between June and September each year due to mining disruptions and delays in Indian Railways due to waterlogged tracks and route closures.

State-run Coal India, which produces 80% of India’s coal, reported the first production fall in two decades in 2019/20 due to the highest rainfall in 25 years.

The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) expects rainfall in the coal-producing regions of Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, which together make up a quarter of India’s production, it said on Tuesday.

The intensity of rainfall will be more important than the overall rainfall in a season. Mine flooding can occur due to incessant rains in a short period of time, even if there is an overall deficit of rainfall during the monsoon season.

The pattern of erratic rainfall, which India has blamed for climate change, has hampered production in the recent past.

Sudden floods in 2019 at India’s third-largest Dipka mine shut down operations for a few days and it took more than a month to resume production at full capacity.

(This story was not edited by NDTV staff and was automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)

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