Peak power demand is unlikely to touch or cross 229GW in summer this year due to unseasonal rains and the after-effects of cyclonic storm Biparjoy in the country, say industry experts.

Industry experts said that the unseasonal rains have affected the demand and brought down temperatures during summer, resulting in fewer use of cooling appliances like air conditioners which guzzle power.

The experts said that the peak power demand in the country is unlikely to touch or cross 229 GW level as projected by the Central Electricity Authority due to the impact of unseasonal rains and the cyclone.

The power ministry in March had said that according to the Central Electricity Authority estimates the peak electricity demand was expected to be 229GW during April-June when the power demand is the highest in the country. But experts say that monsoon will be active in the entire country by July and the seasonal rains would again result in lowering the demand for power.

The peak power demand met or the highest supply in a day touched all-time record high of 223.23 GW on June 9, 2023. Thereafter it came down to 219.30GW on June 10 and further to 206.66GW on June 11.

The highest supply in a day again rose to 218.67GW on June 12 but dipped to 215.35GW on June 13 and 214.58GW on June 14. The peak power demand met remained ever lower at 210.90GW on June 15. It was 211.96 GW on June 16. However, the power ministry has been taking steps to avoid any power shortage in the country.

The ministry asked all imported coal-based power plants to run at full capacity from 16th March 2023 to 15th June 2023 to meet any unprecedented rise in demand and consumption of electricity in the country. The timeline has been further extended by three and a half months till September 30, 2023.

The ministry had also asked the domestic coal-based thermal power plants to import coal for blending to avoid any shortfall of the dry fuel.

The government data shows that peak power demand met was 215.97GW in April and 221.34GW in May this year. The shortfall was just 170MW in April and 23 MW in May. The shortfalls were miniscule which may be caused due to technical reasons, the experts said adding that this shows that power demand did not rise unprecedently as estimated by the Central Electricity Authority.

The consumption of power dipped in March and remained almost flat in April this year. It again dipped in May, showing the impact of unseasonal rains in the country.

Power consumption dipped to 126.82 billion units (BU) in March this year from 128.47 BU in the same month a year ago. It was almost flat at 132.15 BU in April 2023 compared to 132.02 BU in the same month last year.

Consumption of power again dipped to 134.20 BU in May 2023 from 135.15 BU in the same month a year ago. Experts have said that power consumption growth may remain subdued in June due to rains.

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