Amidst all the hue and cry over power shortage in the past few weeks, the Delhi government sold electricity days after making a scene over alleged coal and power shortage in the national capital. As per the data on power trading at two power exchanges, it was revealed that on October 20, Delhi sold 635 mW of power on the day-trade market.
While other large sellers like Odisha, Chhattisgarh and West Bengal have their own significant thermal power capacities, Delhi is the only state that made a large sale without a notable production capacity. It is noteworthy that the Union power ministry had issued a warning to the states to ensure they have enough power surplus before making any sale on the power exchange.
State governments, including Delhi, had alleged that they were heading towards a massive power blackout and the Union government was not able to prevent it.
As per a report in Business Standard, in response to the allegations, the ministry issued a warning in which it said, “It has been brought to the notice of (the) Ministry of Power that some States are not supplying power to their consumers and imposing load shedding. At the same time, they are also selling power in the power exchange at a high price.” The ministry was expressed displeasure with the states that were complaining of shortage but appeared to be selling power at the power exchange.
Delhi has less than 2 GW power generation capacity, one of the lowest in India the Business Standard report added. Despite low power generation, it was the seventh-largest seller of electricity in the all India league in August. Central Electricity Regulatory Commission released the data which says that in the month of October, Delhi was again among the top ten sellers. Though the average price at a day-ahead market is Rs.5.32, on October 20, it shot up to Rs. 20 per Kilowatt/hour.
Kejriwal’s ballooned up ‘power crisis’
In the first two weeks of October, Chief Minister of Delhi Arvind Kejriwal made worrisome statements that the national capital might face massive power outage owing to alleged coal shortage. He also urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to intervene. However, the union power ministry denied any such shortage of coal and said there was ample coal supply for the states. Deputy CM claimed it would be like the ‘oxygen shortage’ during Covid.
The power ministry has also stated that Delhi’s required amount of power was supplied to them and there was no shortage due to inadequate supply.
Though Sisodia categorically mentioned the oxygen crisis during Covid, he forgot the fact that SC appointed audit panel had found that the Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government had exaggerated the oxygen requirement in the national capital by more than four times during the April-May peak period of the Covid-19 second wave.