India's electricity demand grew 2.2% month on month in November, slower than 4.1% rise in October, government data showed, helping to ease the country's acute coal shortage.
Surging power demand and high global prices left Indian utilities scrambling for coal, India's dominant fuel for power generation.
Average daily coal-fired power generation in November was down 2.8% from October, an analysis of load dispatch data from federal grid regulator Power System Operation Corporation Ltd (POSOCO) showed.
As of November 29, the number of plants having supply agreements with Coal India Ltd. with inventories of three days or less fell to 31, compared with 44 in October, accounting for nearly 1/3 of the total 135 utilities, showed the latest data from the federal power ministry.
The average coal inventory held by power plants would last nine days by the end-November, higher than six days on October 31, but still lower than the average of 12 days three months ago.
Though India's coal-fired power generation declined, dependence on coal for electricity generation rose to 75.2% in November, compared with 70.6% in October, buoyed by falling generation from hydropower, solar and winds.
(Writing by Rebecca Liu Editing by Harry Huo)
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