Power consumption grew marginally by 1.8 per cent year-on-year to 407.76 billion units in the April-June quarter, mainly due to unseasonal rains, the Biparjoy cyclone and heavy Monsoon downpours, according to the government data. The Central Electricity Authority (CEA) data showed that the power consumption was 400.44 billion units (BU) in the April-June quarter in 2022 and recorded a growth of 17.6 per cent compared to 340.37 BU in the same period of 2021.
The peak power demand rose to 223.23 GW in April-June 2023 from 215.88 GW in the same period in 2022. It was 193.99 GW in April-June 2021. Thus, the peak power demand growth has remained subdued in the first quarter of the current fiscal. The power ministry earlier estimated the country's electricity demand to touch 229 GW during the summer. But, it did not reach the projected level in April-June this year due to unseasonal rains, the Biparjoy cyclone and heavy Monsoon downpours.
The ministry has taken various steps to avoid outages due to supply constraints. It has asked imported coal-based power plants to run at full capacity. It has also directed coal-based plants to import dry fuel for blending to avoid any shortage. Rains reduced the demand for electricity as people used fewer cooling appliances during April-June 2023 compared to the previous year, say industry experts.
According to the latest Index of Industrial Production (IIP) data, electricity generation in the April-May period contracted by 0.1 compared to a growth of 17.4 per cent in the same period in 2022. Power generation growth remained almost flat at 0.9 per cent in May and contracted by 1.1 per cent in April this year, showed the IIP data.
The power generation also contracted in March this year by 1.6 per cent. However, it grew by 8.2 per cent in February and 12.7 per cent in January, as per the IIP data. The IIP data showed the impact of rains on power generation as well, which also led to subdued growth of electricity consumption in the country during the first quarter of this fiscal.