India Minister Says Country Not on Verge of Electricity Crisis

NEW DELHI—India’s power minister said Sunday that the country isn’t on the verge of an electricity crisis even though many of its power plants are running low on coal.

Piyush Goyal —who concurrently heads the ministries for power, coal and renewable energy—told reporters Sunday that power plants are facing coal shortages because they are producing more electricity to make up for shortfalls in the yearly monsoon rains, which have crimped generation by hydroelectric power plants.

Generation by coal-powered stations between June and August was around 21% higher than in the same period last year, Mr. Goyal said. But domestic coal production and imports haven’t kept up, which has forced plants to use up their inventories.

“You will appreciate that when you produce 20% more power whereas your supply has gone up by only 5% or 6%, the stocks are bound to fall,” he said.

He said that stronger rains and better management of coal supplies will help bring inventories back to normal.


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