power cuts

As Narendra Modi, India’s new prime minister, grapples with slowing growth, weak output and rising inflation, he will pay particular attention to one company whose performance has a bearing on all those issues: Coal India, the public sector behemoth that mines 80 per cent of the country’s coal.

That in itself presents a big challenge. For Coal India is not performing well. It has missed production targets in five of the last eight months and output has grown at less than 2 per cent annually over the past four years. Read more

In the past week shares in Tata Power have tumbled around 12 per cent and Adani Power is down some 7 per cent. As a whole the BSE Power index, which started the year at around 1,700, has dropped to 1,616.57.

The industry has suffered since Arvind Kejriwal, recently crowned chief minister of Delhi, announced that power companies would be investigated by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India and in the meantime tariffs would be slashed for households using relatively little power. Read more

Venezuelans may be fed up with their country’s stuttering economy, but it doesn’t look like that is going to stop Nicolás Maduro from winning presidential elections on Sunday.

As Venezuelans make up their minds whether to vote for Hugo Chávez’s handpicked successor, or the opposition candidate Henrique Capriles, recurrent problems like shortages of basic goods, electricity blackouts and relentlessly rising prices continue to complicate day-to-day living. Read more

India’s power companies will breathe a sigh of relief.

The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC), the regulator, has decided to give Adani Power a “compensatory tariff”, acknowledging the fact that the rising cost of coal is making it financially unviable for the company to provide power at pre-agreed prices. Good news for power companies – but someone has to pay. Read more

This week, India’s Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs gave its approval “in principle” for coal price pooling. State governments have spoken out, stocks have rallied and companies have had their say.

So, what’s all the fuss about? Read more

The US has this week formally complained that India’s national solar programme, which requires developers to use only domestically-produced modules and cells, contravenes global trade rules.

But far away from the emerging trade dispute, Indian companies and their partners are powering ahead with innovative solar schemes, even if the local content rules restrict the import of foreign solar technology. Take for example, solar-powered greenhouse-generators. Read more

Anyone who has driven through the smog-choked streets of New Delhi, or the bumper-to-bumper honking cacophony that passes for driving in much of Mumbai and Bangalore from anywhere between 9am to 9pm knows that India could use both cleaner and quieter cars.

On Wednesday, the government seemed to acknowledge that fact, approving a $4.1bn plan that aims to put 6m green vehicles on India’s streets by 2020. There’s just one problem: power. Read more

As electricity supplies go back online, advocates of energy reform in India are hoping that this week’s power outages will provide an opening to press for far-reaching changes. However, the desire for reform will as ever come up against the politically possible. Read more

More than 10 states in north and east India faced power outages as the main electricity grids serving the regions collapsed again on Tuesday, leaving nearly half the country without power for a second day.

On Monday, the country’s worst black-out in a decade left more than 300m people without electricity and brought trains, offices and hospitals to a standstill. The region’s biggest power plants were online again by the middle of the day. But the effort was short-lived as an overload of capacity dragged down the eastern and north-eastern power grids in addition to the northern grid that was the first to be crippledRead more

Large swathes of northern India faced prolonged power cuts on Monday after the main electricity grid that distributes power in the region failed.

In India’s worst black-out for a decade, the collapsed grid – which caters to nearly a third of the country’s 1.2bn population – left millions without power overnight and brought interstate railways to a halt. The failure heightened concerns of the impact of a poor monsoon and cast doubt on the country’s ability to tackle its ongoing power and infrastructure troubles. Read more