Economy

All-India energy demand on a recovery path

Our Bureau Hyderabad | Updated on September 24, 2020 Published on September 24, 2020

Despite the energy demand showing signs of recovery, demand over April-August 2020 was lower by 11 per cent y-o-y

Short-term power price in exchanges continues to be low: Ind-Ra

The all-India energy demand contracted by two per cent y-o-y for the sixth consecutive month to 109.8 billion units during August 2020, but has shown signs of continued recovery.

According to Ind-Ra report, the decline in power demand narrowed (down 2 per cent) during August (July 2020: down 4.1 per cent; and June 2020: down 10.9 per cent). This was led by an improvement in demand from the northern and southern regions due to the further lifting of lockdown for certain economic activities under Unlock 3.0. Despite the energy demand showing signs of recovery, demand over April-August 2020 was lower by 11 per cent y-o-y.

Also read: India gets set to transition to next phase of renewable power capacity, RE 3.0

Electricity generation (excluding renewables) declined 2.6 per cent y-o-y to 103.4 billion units in August 2020 (July 2020: up 0.1 per cent; June 2020: down 11.8 per cent), owing to a 2.4 per cent yoy decrease in thermal generation. Thermal plant load factor (PLF) declined to 49 per cent in August 2020 (July 2020: 52.9 per cent; August 2019: 51.4 per cent ) on account of the lower demand. Central, State and private sector PLFs declined to 58.5 per cent in August 2020 (August 2019: 59.4 per cent), 38.3 per cent (42.9 per cent) and 51 per cent (52.2 per cent), respectively. Thermal PLFs were the most impacted due to the decline in power demand given the must-run status of nuclear, hydro and renewables.

The short-term power price at Indian Energy Exchange continued to be low at ₹2.43/kWh in August 2020 (August 2019: ₹3.32/kWh; July 2020: ₹2.47/kWh), as the difference in buy and sell bid volumes widened to negative 5,042 million units (negative 2,862 million units). The increased power demand in the short-term power market was on account of favourable prices on the exchanges for both distribution companies and open access buyers and the gradual lifting of lockdown.

The coal production by Coal India Limited increased 7.1 per cent y-o-y to 34.7mt in August 2020 (August 2019: 34.7mt; July 2020: 37.4mt) after decreasing for four consecutive months, owing to higher production at its key subsidiaries.

The recovery in power demand over April-August 2020 led to a gradual rise in coal offtake over the same period (August 2020: 44.34 mtpa; April 2020: 39.06 mtpa). However, Coal India's coal supply to the power sector remained lower 19.5 per cent yoy over April-July 2020 at 126.3 million tonnes.

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Published on September 24, 2020
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