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Power ministry permits surplus coal power sale in open market to boost grid reliability

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As braces for an intense summer with the threat of power outages looming large, the country's power ministry has taken proactive steps to ensure round-the-clock electricity availability. In a recent notification, thermal power plants have now been permitted to sell excess electricity generated from committed coal supplies in the open power market.

Earlier, generation firms could only utilize committed coal, received as part of long term supply agreements with the government, to fulfil contractual power supply obligations with state distribution utilities. However, recognizing that many plants often have spare capacity after meeting such contractual obligations, the ministry has clarified that any surplus power can now be commercialized independently.

This move aims to optimize utilization of existing generation assets during peak demand periods. With record high temperatures forecast, electricity demand is projected to exceed 260 GW, testing the limits of power infrastructure. Allowing surplus coal-based power to be freely traded will bolster overall electricity availability in the grid.

The clarification is timely given rising peak demand pressures owing to India's ongoing renewable energy expansion. While renewable additions have grown rapidly, energy storage solutions are still lacking. As a result, the country remains highly reliant on thermal and gas plants to meet spikes in evening demand when sunlight dips. Maximizing available thermal output is crucial this summer season.

The new guidelines underscore the ministry's proactive strategy to avert power shortages during the intense poll season. With aggregate power deficits declining in recent years but still significant during peak months, these measures aim to shore up supply stability nationwide. As India braces for ongoing energy transitioncomplexities and extremities, optimal utilization of existing assets will be key to reliable power for all.

Northlines
Northlines
The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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