India’s power consumption up 18.6% to 129.51 billion units in August

New Delhi, 1 Sep: India’s power consumption grew 18.6 per cent in August to 129.51 billion units (BU) and remained higher than the pre-COVID level due to improved economic activities amid easing of lockdown curbs by states, according to power ministry data.

The country’s power consumption in August last year stood at 109.21 BU, lower than 111.52 BU in the same month in 2019, as per the data.

Experts say the recovery in power demand and consumption in August 2021 is consistent and robust.

They are of the view that the recovery would further improve as many states have eased lockdown restrictions to boost economic activities after the number of new cases declined.

The only fear is that another wave of the pandemic can dampen this recovery in power consumption and demand, they said.

The commercial and industrial power demand and consumption got affected from April onwards this year due to lockdown restrictions imposed by states to contain the deadly second wave of COVID-19.

There are fears of another wave of the pandemic which may result in lockdown restrictions and will impact commercial and industrial demand for power in the country, according to experts.

Peak power demand met or the highest supply in a day stood at 196.24 GW in August, which is 17.1 per cent higher compared to a year ago.

The peak power demand in August 2020 stood at 167.52 GW, lower than 177.52 GW in the same month in 2019, showing the adverse impact of the pandemic on power demand.

The government had imposed a nationwide lockdown on March 25, 2020 to contain the spread of coronavirus.

The lockdown was eased in a phased manner, but it hit the economic and commercial activities and resulted in lower commercial and industrial demand for electricity in the country.

April 2021 saw year-on-year growth of nearly 38.5 per cent in power consumption.

The second wave of COVID-19 started in the middle of April this year and affected the recovery in commercial and industrial power demand as states started imposing restrictions in the latter part of the month.

Power consumption in the country witnessed 6.6 per cent year-on-year growth in May this year at 108.80 BU despite a low base of 102.08 BU in the same month of 2020.

As per the latest data, power consumption in June grew nearly 9 per cent to 114.48 BU, compared to 105.08 BU in the same month last year.

Power consumption in July this year grew nearly 9.4 per cent to 123.72 BU compared to 112.14BU in the same month a year ago.

Power consumption in February this year was recorded at 103.25 BU, compared to 103.81 BU a year ago. In March this year, power consumption grew nearly 22 per cent to 120.63 BU, compared to 98.95 BU in the same month of 2020.

After a gap of six months, power consumption had recorded 4.6 per cent year-on-year growth in September 2020, and 11.6 per cent in October 2020. In November, power consumption growth slowed to 3.12 per cent, mainly due to early onset of winters.

In December, it grew 4.5 per cent, while this was 4.4 per cent higher in January 2021. (PTI)