India's power consumption returns to pre-COVID level in July; up nearly 12% to 125.51 bn units


India’s power consumption grew nearly 12 per cent in July to 125.51 billion units (BU) and returned to pre-pandemic level mainly due to easing of lockdown curbs and delayed monsoon, according to power ministry data.

In July 2020, power consumption stood at 112.14 BU, lower than 116.48 BU in the same month of 2019 (pre-pandemic level). Thus, consumption of power has not only grown year-on-year but also returned to pre-pandemic level.

Experts say recovery in power demand and consumption in July 2021 is mainly due to delayed monsoon and surge in economic activities amid easing of lockdown restrictions by states.

They said power demand as well as consumption returned to pre-COVID levels in July and a strong recovery is expected in coming months.

The commercial and industrial power demand and consumption got affected April onwards this year due to lockdown restrictions imposed by states.

Experts said that amid decline in the number of daily COVID-19 positive cases across the country and easing of lockdown restriction by the states, the commercial and industrial demand for power would definitely rise from July onwards.

Peak power demand met or the highest supply in a day touched an all-time high of 200.57 GW in July (recorded on July 7, 2021). Daily power consumption also touched an all-time high of 4,508 million units on July 7, 2021.

Peak power demand met for the entire month of July 2020 was 170.40 GW. Therefore, peak power demand met recorded growth of nearly 18 per cent in July 2021, compared to 170.40 GW (recorded on July 2, 2020).

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The peak power demand met was recorded at 175.12 GW in July 2019. Last year, the government had imposed a lockdown on March 25, to contain the spread of coronavirus.

The lockdown was eased in a phased manner, but it had hit the economic and commercial activities and resulted in lower commercial and industrial demand for electricity in the country. Power consumption in April 2021 saw year-on-year growth of nearly 38.5 per cent.

The second wave of COVID-19 started in the middle of April this year and affected the recovery in commercial and industrial power demand as states started imposing restrictions in the latter part of the month.

Power consumption in the country witnessed 6.6 per cent year-on-year growth in May at 108.80 BU despite a low base of 102.08 BU in the same month of 2020.

As per the latest data, power consumption in June grew nearly 9 per cent to 114.48 BU, compared to 105.08 BU in the same month last year.

Power consumption in February this year was recorded at 103.25 BU, compared to 103.81 BU a year ago. In March this year, power consumption grew nearly 22 per cent to 120.63 BU, compared to 98.95 BU in the same month of 2020.

After a gap of six months, power consumption had recorded 4.6 per cent year-on-year growth in September 2020, and 11.6 per cent in October 2020.

In November, power consumption growth slowed to 3.12 per cent, mainly due to early onset of winters.

In December, it grew 4.5 per cent, while this was 4.4 per cent higher in January 2021.

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