Power consumption in the country grew nearly 45 per cent in the first half of April to 60.62 billion units (BU) over the corresponding period a year ago, showing robust recovery in industrial and commercial demand of electricity, according to power ministry data. Power consumption in the first half of April last year (from April 1 to 15, 2020) was recorded at 41.91 BU.
On the other hand, the peak power demand met, which is the highest supply in a day, during the first half of this month remained well above the highest record of 132.20 GW in the same period in April 2020. During the first half this month, peak power demand touched the highest level of 182.55 GW on April 8, 2021, and recorded a growth of 38 per cent over 132.20 GW recorded in the entire month of April last year.
Power consumption in April last year had dropped to 84.55 BU from 110.11 BU in the same month in 2019. This happened mainly because of fewer economic activities following imposition of lockdown by the government in the last week of March 2020 to contain the spread of deadly COVID-19.
Similarly, peak power demand met also slumped to 132.20 GW in April last year from 176.81 GW in the same month in 2019, showing the impact of lockdown on economic activities.
Experts are of the view that high growth in power consumption as well as demand in the first half this month is mainly because of base effect. They said, "The power consumption remained low in April last year due to lockdown. Now the the high growth rate of power consumption clearly indicates healthy recovery in commercial and industrial demand."
However, they cautioned that local lockdowns across the country to curb the surge of COVID-19 positive cases may impact commercial and industrial power consumption adversely in coming days. After a gap of six months, power consumption had recorded a 4.6 per cent year-on-year growth in September and 11.6 per cent in October. In November 2020, the power consumption growth slowed to 3.12 per cent, mainly due to the early onset of winters. In December, power consumption grew by 4.5 per cent while it was 4.4 per cent in January 2021.
Power consumption in February this year recorded higher at 104.11 BU compared to 103.81 BU last year despite the fact that 2020 was a leap year. In March this year, the power consumption grew nearly 23 per cent to 121.51 BU compared to 98.95 BU in the same month of 2020.
During the entire fiscal of 2020-21, power consumption dipped by one per cent to 1,271.54 BU from 1,284.44 BU in 2019-20.