Data from POSOCO, the National Load Despatch Centre (NLDC), has shown that power demand in the country rose after it dipped during the COVID-19-induced nationwide lockdown.
The data showed that after the lockdown was lifted, the average daily power demand stood at 3,595 million units (MU) for the period between June 1, 2020, and August 27, 2020. During the 69-day lockdown period between March 24, 2020, to May 31, 2020, demand averaged 3,037 MU.
Before the lockdown, the average daily power demand in the country stood at 3,416 MU in the period between March 1, 2020, and March 23, 2020, according to POSOCO’s data.
The Central Energy Authority’s (CEA) latest Load Generation Balance Report also showed that India would have an energy surplus of 2.7% and a peak surplus of 9.1% for the year 2020-21. It noted that the electricity demand fell amid the COVID-19 crisis in April and May 2020. CEA said that it expects power demand to meet its trajectory as lockdown restrictions ease, and the economy starts to recover.
The International Energy Agency’s (IEA) recent report analyzing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdown showed that the electricity demand dropped drastically with the implementation of the lockdown measures in various countries. While the demand recovered as the lockdown measures were relaxed in these countries, it was still below the pre-lockdown levels in many. In June, the electricity demand stayed 10% below the pre-lockdown levels in most countries except India, where the recovery was more pronounced. The report added that in India, renewables continued to increase its share in the power mix, and the gap between renewables and coal narrowed down significantly during the lockdown period.
The share of renewable energy (including large hydro) in India’s overall installed power capacity mix rose marginally to 36.2% at the end of the first quarter of 2020, from 35.9% at the end of the calendar year (CY) 2019, according to the data from CEA, and the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE).
Lockdown’s impact on the power industry is one of the many topics that will be discussed in Mercom’s upcoming webinar on September 1, 2020. Mercom’s senior leaders will also analyze the latest findings and developments in India’s solar sector over the quarter. Guest speakers from MNRE and SECI will bring in the policy perspective to the discussion and talk about the current environment and strategies for growth. Register for the webinar here.
The article has been corrected to state 3,416 MU in the third paragraph, which was previously miswritten as 3,416 MW
Nithin Thomas is a staff reporter at Mercom India. Previously with Reuters News, he has covered oil, metals and agricultural commodity markets across global markets. He has also covered refinery and pipeline explosions, oil and gas leaks, Atlantic region hurricane developments, and other natural disasters. Nithin holds a Masters Degree in Applied Economics from Christ University, Bangalore and a Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce from Loyola College, Chennai. More articles from Nithin.