India’s rapidly growing economy is putting a strain on the country’s coal and power supplies, with demand outstripping supply and leading to power outages in several states. The situation is causing concerns among industry experts and policymakers, who fear it could have a negative impact on economic growth.
India is the world’s second-largest coal consumer after China, and the country’s reliance on coal for power generation has increased in recent years. However, coal production has been hampered by a variety of factors, including environmental concerns, land acquisition issues, and labor strikes.
The shortage of coal has led to power plants reducing their output, leading to power cuts in several states, including Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, and Uttar Pradesh. The power cuts are affecting businesses, homes, and hospitals, and are exacerbating the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Experts say that the current situation is the result of years of underinvestment in the power sector and a lack of diversification in energy sources. India has set ambitious targets for renewable energy, but the transition away from coal has been slow, with the sector still heavily reliant on fossil fuels.
The government has taken steps to address the situation, including increasing imports of coal, encouraging the use of renewable energy, and improving the efficiency of power plants.