September saw power generation in the country falling by 3.7 per cent. Though analysts blamed lower coal output for the fall, generation from even renewable sources fell by as much as 7.13 per cent, indicating an overall decline in demand.
Overall power generation in the country was 114.66 billion units in September, as against 119.07 billion units in the same month of 2018.
According to the core sector data released on Thursday, all sectors of infrastructure showed a fall, except for fertiliser production.
Thermal power generation fell 21 per cent to 78.631 billion units in September 2019, as against 87.357 billion units the previous year. Coal, which constitutes one tenth of the core sector index, saw production fall by 20 per cent in September after 8.6 per cent and 1.6 per cent contraction in the previous two months, respectively.
Cumulatively, however, the power generation showed an increase of 3.8 per cent with 735.808 billion units of electricity being generated in April-September 2019, compared to 703.068 billion units the previous year.
During the April-September period, Coal India, the country's largest producer, had an output of 241 million tonne coal, which is 6 per cent lower than last year's corresponding period. Coal despatch to the power sector was 7 per cent lesser than last year’s.
One of the reasons that the coal dispatch was less and had impact on power generation in September was that one of CIL's subsidiary Mahanadi Coalfields faced labour unrest. Its Talcher coal mine, which is Asia’s largest mine, faced shutdown in August, leading to a loss of Rs 200 crore to the company.