India’s solar power generation growth slows in September

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Workers clean photovoltaic panels inside a solar power plant in Gujarat, India, July 2, 2015. REUTERS / Amit Dave / File Photo

CHENNAI, Oct.6 (Reuters) – Growth in solar power generation in India slowed in September, according to Reuters analysis of government data, at a time when coal-fired utilities face a shortage of a fuel which represents more than 70% of the country’s consumption. energy production.

Growth in solar power is crucial this year, as half of India’s 135 coal-fired power plants have fuel stocks of less than three days. India expects the coal shortage to last up to six months.

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State-run Coal India (COAL.NS), which accounts for over 80% of India’s coal production, has seen its production increase at the slowest rate in six months and supplies at the fastest rate. slow in seven months in September, with rain affecting production at major mining operations. Regions.

Growth in solar power generation slowed to 24.7% year-on-year in September, from 41% in August, an analysis of daily load shipping data from the federal grid regulator POSOCO showed.

Other key sources of power generation also fell in September, data showed, with hydropower down 5% and gas-fired power down 31.6% from a year earlier.

A seasonal change in India’s electricity consumption patterns could also increase stress on severely shorted coal-fired utilities and lead to blackouts, analysts said.

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“Renewable energy will not be available early in the day and immediately after sunset, when demand for electricity typically peaks during winter in India,” said an electricity sector analyst based at Singapore.

Victor Vanya, director of energy analysis firm EMA Solutions, said that higher humidity in the coming weeks could lead to increased demand for electricity due to higher air conditioning and cooling needs. rapid deterioration of coal stocks.

“If the humidity remains high for the next 2 weeks, there is a high probability that India will find itself in a ‘Chinese-style scenario’,” he told Reuters. China’s coal supply shortages have resulted in electricity restrictions in parts of the country.

However, CRISIL, a unit of the S&P rating agency, predicts 15-16% growth in solar generation in the six months ending March 2022 and slowing overall growth in electricity demand would alleviate the constraints weighing on Indian coal-fired power stations.

“This will be further supported by 5% to 6% and 3% to 4% growth in production from nuclear and hydroelectric sources,” CRISIL told Reuters, adding that widespread blackouts were unlikely.

Reporting by Sudarshan Varadhan Editing by Mark Potter

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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