2 in 3 Indian homes face power outages amid fiery heat waves

Hello darkness, my old friend.
Hello darkness, my old friend.
Image: REUTERS/Shailesh Andrade
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In the last few days, temperatures have hovered around 46 degree celsius in some parts of India. The past two months have been the hottest March and April in 122 years.

Amid this scorching heat, India is facing an immense shortage of coal. Most of India’s power consumption is coal-based.

Peak power demand hit an all-time high of more than 201 gigawatts last week, while coal stocks were critically low at 86 power plants. The demand is expected to reach 220 gigawatts in May-June.

At the same time, the power shortage is at its worst in more than six years with two out of three households in the country facing outages, according to a survey of over 21,000 respondents across 322 districts by a community-led social media platform LocalCircles.

Only 12% of the respondents had a 24×7 power back-up.

In India, most middle-class households use devices known as power inverters, which cost anywhere between 5,000-10,000 rupees ($70-$120) depending on their capacities.