Karnataka has enough coal to operate its thermal plants

The power generation from state sources as on May 17, is 3,825MW.
Image of coal used for representational purpose only.
Image of coal used for representational purpose only.

BENGALURU: The State government is stocking up on coal at thermal power plants so they run to full capacity and there are no power cuts. As on May 13, state-run thermal power stations had a stock of 8,51,275 tonnes of coal, and according to Karnataka Power Corporation Limited (KPCL) officials, this is sufficient for the next 15-18 days. Apart from this, 2,00,813 tonnes of coal is available at Udupi Power Corporation Limited (UPCL) which is managed by the Adani Group.

“We are in a comfortable situation. We are also getting imported coal which is blended with coal generated in other Indian coal mines. A total of 28 rakes are expected to arrive in the coming days. The government wants to ensure there are no power cuts, hence all thrust is on thermal at the moment. Besides, renewable energy is not a completely reliable energy source,” said an official from the energy department, not wanting to be named.

The official explained that at the moment, the state is generating 967MW of solar and 610MW of wind energy. The total power generated from non-conventional sources is 1,718MW, including mini-hydro and biomass. “When there is cloud cover, like nowadays, there is zero solar generation in some places. Wind is also not constant. All organisations that run on solar energy during the day need equal or more thermal energy post sunset, like the airport. Also, hydro power generation is very limited at the moment because of the drought,” the official said.

According to KPCL, hydro generation is 790MW. The total thermal generation is 2,056MW from Raichur, Ballari and Yeramarus thermal power stations. There is an additional 888MW from IPP-thermal power plants. The power generation from state sources as on May 17, is 3,825MW.

“To meet net zero emission target and the Paris Agreement, there is a need to reduce coal-based power generation. But at moments like these, there is no option. It is the only reliable backup source of power. Thermal power also helps in keeping the grid support constant. So far, little progress has been made in energy storage. We are working on demand and supply model at the moment,” the official added.

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