India suffered peak power shortage of close to 13,000 million units in April and May, as the thermal power plants struggled to maintain fuel stocks at a reasonable level.
The country's peak power deficit -- shortfall in generation capacity during the time when the electricity consumption is the maximum - was over 12,600 million units (MUs) in April and May, according to Central Electricity Authority (CEA) data.
The total requirement of electricity in the two months (April-May) was 1.62 lakh MUs, whereas the supply was 1.5 lakh MUs, a deficit of 7.8%, the data said.
Megawatt (MW) is used to refer to generation capacity while Million Unit (MU) indicates the amount of power produced. For instances, a 500 MW capacity plant running for 24 hours can produce 12 MUs of energy.
During the months of April and May, as many as 28 power stations on an average faced acute fuel shortage of less then seven days of coal stock, the official data said.
Southern and North-eastern regions were the worst affected with over 13% and 11% peak power deficit, respectively.
The total electricity requirement in the Southern region during April-May period was over 46,000 MUs, while the availability was only close to 40,000 MUs.
In the north-eastern region power requirement during the period was 1,744 MUs and the supply was 1,553 MUs.
In May alone, the peak power deficit in the country was 7.5%. The total power demand during the month was 84,162 MUs and availability was 77,888 MUs, a shortfall of 6,274 MUs, the CEA data revealed.
Northern region, along with southern and north-eastern regions, was the worst affected during May. The three regions witnessed a deficit of 9.4%, 10.8% and 11.1%, respectively.
The only silver lining in the northern region was the Union Territory of Chandigarh, where the total power requirement of 158 MUs was met.
According to reports, there were may instances of power shortage in the national capital during May, however, the data showed only 0.4% peak power deficit in Delhi.
The Power Ministry expects to generate around 9,20,000 MUs of electricity this fiscal. Out of the total, 7,60,000 MUs would be from coal-based plants. The government might also import 5,000 MUs of electricity from Bhutan.