Peak power demand falls 28 per cent to 117 GW in since March 20

New Delhi: Peak power demand in the country dipped over 28 per cent to 117.76 gigawatts (GW) on Saturday as compared to 163.72 GW on March 20, showing the impact of nationwide lockdown amid COVID-19 outbreak. National Load Dispatch Centre data showed that in actual terms, the peak power demand met has come down by about 46 GW since March 20, which would further aggravate the ailing electricity generators whose outstanding dues stand Rs 88,311 crore as of January this year.

The peak demand met was down mainly due to lower demand from industry and state power distribution companies (discoms) across the country due to the lockdown to fight against COVID-19.

According to the NLDC data, the peak demand met was 163.72 GW on March 20, which came down to 161.74 GW on March 21. This dropped sharply to 135.20 GW on March 22 due a call for ‘Janata Curfew’ by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The data also showed that the peak demand met improved slightly to 145.49 GW on Monday but fell again to 135.93 GW on Tuesday and subsequently to 127.96 GW on Wednesday.

The power demand met further fell sharply to 120.31 GW on Thursday and to 115.23 GW, indicating continuous slump in demand.

However, there was little improvement on Saturday as the peak demand met rose slightly to 117.76 GW.

The peak power demand met is the actual highest energy supply during the day across the country.

In view of the COVID-19 outbreak, the government has imposed lockdown for three weeks from March 25.

“This slump in power demand is unlikely to improve drastically till middle of next month. Besides, the government has asked the power generators to keep on supplying power even if they dont pay for next three months. More, the penalty on late payment has been removed till June 30. In these circumstance, there would be pressure on power generating firms to ensure uninterrupted power supply 24X7,” an industry source said.

The spot power price touched a three-year low of 60 paise per unit for supplies on Wednesday on the Indian Energy Exchange due to low demand.

The average spot power price is hovering around Rs 2 per unit at electricity exchanges.

Peak power demand met was 168.7 GW in March 2019.

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