India asked domestic power utilities to sustain share of imported coal at 4% until March 2024, in a bid to meet night-time power demand.
The country has also called on a meeting to restart idled state-owned and private gas-based power plants.
In August, rainfall in India has decreased by 36% from the same period years ago. The country’s maximum power demand touched 240 GW late last week due to increased consumption on the back of hot weather conditions, an anticipated rise in industrial activity ahead of a festival season and high agricultural demand due to deficient rainfall.
As of August 31, India's power shortage during peak hours reached 10.7 GW, showed data from the state's Grid Controller.
India has an installed electricity generation capacity of 423 GW, of which 206 GW is based on coal and 131 GW is based on renewables, and gas-based capacity is 25 GW.
"The power shortage mainly happened in nighttime as solar and wind generation falls and demand increase. The gap has to be filled by thermal power," a senior government official said.
As power demand broke historical highs, India's power ministry required power plants using imported coal to continue to operate at full capacity till October 2023, adding the country's power demand is likely to keep rising in current fiscal year.
By 2032, coal-based power generation will grab a quite large share in the country's total power mix, indicating its strong reliance on coal industry.
Power generation in India is expected to rise by over 70% in the next ten years, the highest among other main producers.
In addition, hydropower generation share is forecast to climb to 16.9% by 2032.