India’s power demand up by 8 per cent during early November 2020

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The gradual recovery of economic and commercial activities during the festive season indicate that power consumption in November is heading for a positive growth on a year-on-year (y-o-y) basis, making it the third straight month to record an annual rise in electricity demand, reports Financial Express.

According to the government’s preliminary data, 50,159.6 billion units (BU) of electricity was supplied across the country in the first 15 days of November, which is 7.8 per cent higher than what was consumed in the same period last year.

Even though power consumption fell 8.5 per cent y-o-y to 625.6 BU in the first half of the fiscal amid lockdowns imposed across the nation to contain the coronavirus outbreak, electricity demand in September grew 4.6 per cent y-o-y to 112.4 BU, making it the first month in the ongoing fiscal to post a positive growth.

Electricity demand in October was around 111 BU, 12 per cent higher than last year. However, the larger surge in October also reflects the effect of a lower base, as power sales in October, 2019 was exceptionally muted — down 12.8 per cent y-o-y — with higher rainfall reducing agricultural and domestic usage. At 95,053 BU, power sales in November, 2019 was also lower by 3.3 per cent y-o-y.

Lower electricity volumes consumed by highly industrialised states like Gujarat, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu in FY20 had dragged down the country’s annual demand growth to a six-year low of 1.3 per cent.

On account of the lower demand, power generation also fell on a y-o-y basis in the first half of FY21 as well, but its impact was felt more on coal-based stations than the renewable energy units. Owing to its ‘must run’ status and growing capacity, renewable energy generation fell only 1 per cent while output from conventional power plants dropped about 9 per cent.

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