Spot power prices in the country are unlikely to surge in the next two months and hover around Rs 4 per unit in view of availability renewables, mainly wind energy, experts say.
There were fears that the persistent shortage of coal at thermal power plants in the country may jack up spot power prices in the near term with the onset of summer.
“The spot power prices in the country would be around Rs 4 per unit in the next two month due to availability of wind energy due to progression of monsoon,” a market expert told PTI.
The average spot power price at the Indian Energy Exchange was Rs 4.01 per unit till April 27, 2018. It was Rs 4.01 in March as well, but was higher than Rs 3.22 in February this year.
The average price was around Rs 2.5 per unit in February and March 2017. But it was slightly up at Rs 2.7 in April last year.
“Last year the peak power demand was around 159 GW, which at maximum level, can increase up to 165 GW this year in May and June. But that could be compensated over 34 GW installed wind power capacity,” the expert added.
Wind energy generation achieves optimum levels in May and June due to the weather system. Besides, there would be optimum solar energy generation in May and June, he said.
Solar energy capacity has already crossed the 22 GW mark. That would also also generate around 5GW at 20 per cent efficiency.
However, according to experts, the fear of surge in spot power price would continue to haunt consumers because coal supply situation may be affected further during the rainy season from July onwards when mining of the dry fuel is affected.
According to Central Electricity Authority (CEA) data, as many as 27 thermal power plants out of the monitored 114 are facing coal shortage.
The CEA data for April 25, 2018 shows that 17 non-pit head power plants have super critical coal stocks which would not last more than 4 days.
Besides, there are 10 such plants which have critical coal stocks which would not last for more than 7 days.
Coal shortage at thermal power plant has been affecting thermal power generation in the country.
According to Power Ministry data, the average plant load factor (PFL) or capacity utilisation at thermal power plants of independent power producers was 55.32 per cent in 2017-18, lower than 55.73 in 2016-17 and 60.49 per cent in 2015-16.
However, the PLF of state power generation utilties improved slightly to 56.83 per cent last fiscal from 54.35 in 2016-17 and 55.41 in 2015-16.
During 2017-18, the peak power deficit was 2 per cent after meeting 160 GW requirement against demand of 164 GW.