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All-India power demand declines 22% in April amid Covid-led lockdown

Our Bureau Hyderabad | Updated on June 03, 2020 Published on June 03, 2020

With the decrease in demand, electricity generation (excluding renewables) also decreased 25.4 per cent y-o-y to 81.5 billion units in April   -  Bloomberg

The all-India energy demand decreased 22.3 per cent y-o-y to 85.6 billion units while energy supply decreased 22.5 per cent y-o-y, resulting in the energy deficit remaining at 0.5 per cent (April 2019: 0.4 per cent).

The power demand declined for April 2020, amid the Covid-led lockdown on account of a decline in commercial and industrial demand from major manufacturing States such as Maharashtra (down 17.9 per cent), Gujarat (down 26.1 per cent) and Tamil Nadu (down 28.6 per cent), according to India Ratings and Research.

The decline in demand is expected to narrow due to the relaxation in the lockdown guidelines for certain economic activities and increasing power demand from domestic consumers with the onset of the summer season.

With the decrease in demand, electricity generation (excluding renewables) also decreased 25.4 per cent y-o-y to 81.5 billion units in April with thermal generation declining 28.5 per cent y-o-y. Thermal plant load factor (PLF) declined to 42.4 per cent in April 2020 (March 2020: 52.6 per cent; April 2019: 63.1 per cent) on account of the lower demand.

Plant load factor down

The Central, State and private sector PLFs decreased to 49.9 per cent in April 2020 (April 2019: 72.6 per cent), 33.5 per cent (60.7 per cent) and 44 per cent (57.9 per cent), respectively. Thermal PLFs were impacted most due to the decline in the power demand over March-April 2020, given the must-run status of nuclear, hydro and renewables Thermal PLFs are expected to remain low on account of the extension of lockdown.

The short-term power price at Indian Energy Exchange was lower at ₹2.41/kWh in April 2020 (April 2019: ₹3.22/kWh), as the difference in buy and sell bid volumes widened to negative 5,378 million units (MU; negative 2,835MU). The traded volume on short-term power market decreased 7.9 per cent y-o-y to 3,692 MU on account of the contraction in commercial demand due to the lockdown.

The coal production by Coal India Limited decreased 10.9 per cent y-o-y to 40.4 mt in April after increasing for four consecutive months y-o-y, owing to lower production at its key subsidiaries - Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (down 1.8 per cent y-o-y), South Eastern Coalfields Limited (down 16.2 per cent y-o-y) and Western Coalfields (down 18.3 per cent y-o-y) due to the lower demand leading to high coal inventory.

Published on June 03, 2020
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