India, the world’s third largest energy guzzler, consumed a record more than 223 gigawatts (GW) of electricity on Friday as heat waves hit several parts of the country.

According to the data from Grid India, the maximum demand met during the day stood at 223.24 GW on June 9 with a peak shortage of 189 megawatts (MW). The energy met on Friday stood at 4,913 million units (MU), while shortage stood at 10.65 MU.

The Power Ministry expects India’s peak demand to be in the range of 230 GW during April-June.

In fact, power demand has been inching north continuously due to rising summer temperatures since the beginning of the month. In the first nine days of June 2023, the maximum demand met during the day averaged at more than 212 GW.

The week beginning June 4 has already surpassed last year’s peak demand numbers. For instance, the peak demand met touched 222.92 GW on June 8. Similarly, on June 6 and June 7, the demand met was more than 217 GW.

Last year, on April 29, India’s maximum power demand met during the day hit a record 207 GW. During May 2022, the national peak demand stood at over 204 GW.

Rising temperatures

Power demand started rising from the second half of May. Energy met pan-India during the month stood at 136.5 billion units (BU), increasing 1 per cent on an annual basis.

A senior government official said that summer temperatures have started rising significantly thereby increasing the heat index, which in turn has led to higher demand for power to run air conditioners and desert coolers. The maximum temperatures are now in the range of 40-42°C over many parts of central and east India as well as some parts of north and northern parts of Peninsular India.

The demand for more electricity is coming from Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, he added.

As on May 7, the coal stocks at power plants stood at a little over 37 million tonnes, which is sufficient for 13 days. Lower temperatures during March and April ensured sufficient availability of coal at power plants.