India’s Power Supply Deficit

India recorded a power supply deficit of 0.7 percent during the six-month period between April to September 2017.

Over 615,494 million units (MU) of electricity was supplied, 4,260 MU less than the targeted energy requirement of 619,754 MU, according to the Central Electricity Authority (CEA).

The supply deficit was 0.7 percent and the peak deficit stood at 2 percent. Compared to the same period in 2016 (Apr-Sep), both the supply deficit and peak deficit dropped by 0.7 percent and 1.6 percent, respectively.

The power supply deficit and peak power deficit by region is presented in the chart below:

Region-wise Power Supply Position and Peak Demand for Apr to Sep 2017 (Provisional)

During the six-month period ending in September 2017, the Northeastern region faced the largest power supply deficit of 3.3 percent, followed by the Northern region at 1.5 percent, and the Eastern region at 0.7 percent.

Mercom previously reported that India recorded a low power supply deficit of 0.7 percent in FY 2016-17. And during the three-month period April to June 2017, India recorded a power supply deficit of 0.6 percent.

According to the CEA 2017 Load Generation Balance Report (LGBR), a study on the anticipated power supply position for financial year (FY) 2017-18, India is expecting a power surplus of 8.8 percent and peak surplus of 6.8 percent in the country during 2017-18.

These figures can be misleading for consumers as power cuts have continued even though government agencies tout power surplus or minimal power shortages. The reduction in the power deficit we are seeing is due to a combination of weak power demand in the commercial and industrial sector, and the financial health of DISCOMs. Falling demand has led to record low prices on the power exchanges.

According to evening power check from Vidyut Pravah, 2,607 MW was available at ₹3.21 (~$0.05)/kWh for states to buy power. (Time block between 4.00 to 4.15 PM on 03 Nov 2017).

Last year, MAHAGENCO was forced to shut down four of its thermal power plants due to poor power demand.