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India's energy crunch: Govt to revise coal stock norms; fuel rates surge to record highs

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Diesel and petrol prices were hiked to record levels again on October 7. Meanwhile, India is devising new coal stock norms to prevent future crises and experts worried European, Chinese, and Indian energy crunch can extend to the United States as well. Stay tuned as we bring the clear picture and latest updates on everything related to power crunch.

India's energy crunch: Govt to revise coal stock norms; fuel rates surge to record highs
India continues to grapple with a power crunch, along with Europe and China. Electricity production in the country declined by 0.7 percent in September, never mind the improvements in economic activity.
Coal inventory is still critically low. Over 100 coal-based power plants had stocks for less than five days on October 5. And a peak shortage (9,536 mega-watts) was recorded on the same day.
According to a Moneycontrol report, the coal crunch has hit the private independent power plants the most. These plants recorded a 20 percent decrease in electricity generation in September.
A. News roundup
Fuel rates surge to record-high levels
The oil marketing companies (OMCs) hiked petrol and diesel prices for the third consecutive day on October 7. Petrol price was hiked by 29-30 paise a litre and diesel by 35-38 paise, according to a price notification of state-owned fuel retailers.
NTPC stands out from crowd, despite crunch
While private power plants had to slow down, government-owned plants increased production by 13 percent last month. To this figure, NTPC alone contributed 10 percent, as per a Moneycontrol report. Its utilisation levels surged from 66 percent in September 2020 to 69 percent in September 2021. To put this into perspective, private plants saw their utilisation levels dropping to 48 percent from 60 percent during the same period. The reason? NTPC's reliance on domestic coal and good relationships with Coal India.
Centre to revise coal stock norms
In a bid to avert future power crises, India has decided to simplify its coal stocking regulations, including supply and storage. The regulations will mandate thermal plants to maintain inventories on the of basis plant load factor, The Economic Times report said.
B. Global Snapshot
China’s energy crisis continues
China’s energy crisis is not showing signs of slowing, and as the world grapples with supply chain disruptions and power outages threaten to worsen the global economic recovery.
Energy prices stoking inflation fires
Surging energy costs have once again stoked fears of inflation among investors. And while stock markets across the world were in a very good mood today, the UK bond market is feeling the strain, a WSJ report said. Some government bonds -- that are seen as a measure of where investors believe inflation is headed -- underwent some dramatic swings in prices.
Power crunch stokes global growth anxiety
India and China are the two biggest drivers of global growth, writes Financial Times, and an acute power shortage in the two economies is casting a pall over Asia’s economic prospects. India has taken a hit as well, it said, and that underpins growth.
Energy price surge sends shivers through markets
Soaring energy prices caused alarm among European leaders and sent shivers through global markets on October 6, raising concerns of a winter fuel crisis that could play into the hands of gas-rich Russia, Reuters reported. Several energy companies in Europe have collapsed as a result of the price surge in natural gas.
Power shortages in Europe and record-high electricity prices could affect the solar panel, auto, and semiconductor industry, a Reuters report said. The report said power shortage could lead to output cuts of materials like silicon (solar panels) and aluminium alloys (auto and semiconductor).
Is Europe’s Energy crisis a preview of America’s?
Europe is bearing the brunt of the energy crisis. Prices of natural gas, electricity and natural gas have exploded, leading to protests in Spain, as winters are approaching. But will the United States go down the same path? Foreign Policy dot com says there are many parallels between the two -- the February electricity crisis in Texas and rolling power blackouts in California.
C. Market snapshot
India's oil and gas sector was the only Nifty sectoral gauge that ended in the red as benchmarks rallied over half a percent higher. ONGC and GAIL both witnessed profit booking on October 7 and slumped 4 percent. Motilal Oswal has a buy rating on ONGC with a target price of Rs 190. Oil India shares also plunged over 2 percent on October 7.
Natural gas prices tanked 10 percent overnight after Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russia will increase supplies of gas to the European Union.
Crude oil prices dropped for a second straight session on October 7 after an unexpected rise in US crude stocks. US crude inventories rose by 2.3 million barrels last week, US Energy Information Administration said. Gasoline inventories also rose and distillate inventories declined slightly.
 
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