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India's coal-based power demand at all-time high, government says

MUMBAI (Reuters) - India's demand for coal-based power has risen by 7.3% this fiscal year to an all-time high, the government said in a statement on Wednesday.

Peak demand for power in India's hot, arid northern plains hit a record earlier this week, even as the government said it continues to implement measures to meet high energy consumption.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted above-normal temperatures for June in the northwest and central parts of the country, making it one of the longest heatwave spells.

Cumulative coal production stood at 207.48 million tonnes as of June 16, a growth of 9.27% from the same period last year, the government said in a release.

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More than 75% of India's power generation was from coal in 2023, while gas-fired plants have accounted for only about 2% in recent years, largely because of the high cost of gas relative to coal.

"The Ministry of Coal is fully committed to ramp up coal production and transportation, ensuring power plants have ample reserves to meet the surge in electricity demand," the release said.

(Reporting by Shilpa Jamkhandikar; Editing by Sharon Singleton)