Kolkata: Conventional electricity generation increased 10.4% year on year in Feb’20. This is the second straight month of demand uptick after four consecutive months of decline. The increase in Feb’20 is on low or favourable base of 1% growth in February 2019 and higher number of days given the leap year, adjusting for which growth would be 7% year on year said equity analysis firm, Motilal Oswal Institutional Equities.

The demand uptick was broad-based and across states. Coal-based generation increased ~10% year on year, hydro generation rose 18% year on year, while nuclear generation was up 8% year on year. Total generation was up 10.8% year on year. Renewable energy generation grew at a healthy pace (14.5% YoY) led by 27% rise in solar generation.

Coal stocks at power plants increased led by ramp-up in coal production. Coal India’s production was up ~14% year on year in February 20. Stocks at power plants now stand at 37 million tonnes (at 21 days of consumption) versus 26 million tonnes during the same period last year.

Day ahead market volumes on the Indian Energy Exchange increased 53% year and year; however, on year to date basis, Day ahead market volumes on the Indian Energy Exchange were 3% lower. Prices increased marginally by 1% month on month to Rs 2.9 per unit.

Coal availability and generation at NTPC’s critical plants (Sipat and Korba) recovered after heavy monsoons this year. PAF stood at 100% for Talcher Stage-II and at 50% for Talcher Stage-I in the month. Plant capacity utilisation for NTPC’s plants have been low at 67% given the muted power demand. This represents 9 per cent point decline year on year.

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