Power prices see a short-term spike on improving demand: Ind-Ra

Our Bureau Hyderabad | Updated on March 04, 2021

Rating agency attributes the rise to revival in economic activities

The short-term power price on the Indian Energy Exchange continued its upward trend (January 2021: ₹3.18/kWh; January 2020: ₹2.86/kWh) with a 17 per cent year-on-year increase in the traded volumes witnessed in the day-ahead market.

According to India ratings and Research report on Power, With an improvement in demand, the price in the day-ahead market has increased further to ₹3.39/kWh in February 2021 as the difference between buy and sell bids narrowed down to negative 2,121 million units (February 2020: negative 5,138 million units).

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The all-India energy demand deficit has been on an improving trend since June 2020 (April 2020 till the first 21 days of February 2021: down 2.9 per cent yoy; 9MFY21: down 3.9 per cent; 1HFY21: down 8.7 per cent yoy; 1QFY21: down 15.9 per cent yoy).

In January 2021, the all-India energy demand increased 5 per cent y-o-y to 106.5 billion units (December: up 4.9 per cent; November 2020: up 3.7 per cent yoy), backed by a strong demand from the northern region (up 5 per cent yoy) and western region (up 12.1 per cent yoy).

Rise in demand

In January 2021, the peak power demand reached its all-time high of 190.3 GW, backed by a revival in economic activities.

The electricity generation increased 5.4 per cent yoy to 108.4 billion units in January 2021 (December 2020: up 4.6 per cent yoy; November 2020: up 1.9 per cent yoy), supported by 7.1 per cent yoy growth in thermal generation (up 5.8 per cent yoy; up 4.1 per cent yoy), although hydro generation fell 8 per cent yoy (down 8.2 per cent yoy; down 17.0 per cent yoy).

Electricity generation from renewable sources increased 7.6 per cent yoy to 11.5 billion units in January 2021, with wind and solar generation increasing 7.3 per cent yoy and 5.5 per cent yoy, respectively. The solar generation over 10MFY21 improved 12.4 per cent yoy.

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Thermal sector gains

The improvement in energy demand and the reduced generation from hydro and renewables sources have helped the thermal plant load factor (PLF) increase to 61.2 per cent in January (January 2020: 57.7 per cent; December 2020: 57.1 per cent). In January, the thermal sector’s PLFs rose on a yoy basis across the central, state and private sectors, increasing to 71.2 per cent (January 2020: 66.5 per cent), 55.5 per cent (51.7 per cent) and 58 per cent (55.8 per cent), respectively.

The coal production by Coal India Limited fell by 4.1 per cent yoy to 60.5 million tonnes in January, after showing yoy growth between August and December 2020. The recovery in power demand over April-January 2021 led to a gradual rise in coal offtake.

The transmission line addition improved to 9,892 circuit kilometres (km) over 10MFY21 (10MFY20: 9,594 circuit km), though it was lower at 798 circuit km in January 2021 (January 2020: 1,757 circuit km).

Published on March 04, 2021

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