26% dip in peak power demand
Although there has been a partial easing of the coronavirus lockdown, the country’s peak power demand – i.e. the highest energy supply during the day across the country – remained down by over 26% in May so far at 134.7 GW. Data from the power ministry revealed that the peak power demand in May last year stood at 182.53 GW.
During the month of April too, the peak power demand, which stood at 132.77 GW, approximately almost one-fourth less than 176.81 GW in April 2019. In fact, India’s power demand this year during April has ranged between 116.89 GW (April 8) to 132.77 GW (April 30).
Industry bodies and analysts have been expressing concern that the power sector is already reeling under financial stress. In February 2020, the discoms (distribution companies) owe more than Rs 92,000 crore to gencos (generating companies). However, they were hopeful that with mercury expected to soar in the coming days and resumption of some economic activities from Monday, power demand may see an uptick. At the same time, they made it clear that touching last year’s levels is still a long time away.