India registered a shortfall of 2.8% in peak power demand during February. Though it appears to be the continuation of the ‘power deficit’ trend, the shortfall is gradually coming down.
Peak demand for power in the country stood at 1.37 lakh MW whereas only 1.35 lakh MW of demand could be met, according to data with the Central Electricity Authority (CEA).
A year earlier, in February 2014, this figure was 4.6%. In January this year, the shortfall was 3.1%.
The availability of power in India (excluding the peak period) in February stood at 78,968 MW, a deficit of 2.5%.
One of the reasons why power deficit seems to be on the downward spiral is slowdown in demand for power, especially in the industrial sector, which hasn’t been doing well. However, anaylsts predict that electricity demand will rise again as summer sets in, and this may lead to a rise in the deficit.
“Over the years, demand deficit has reduced considerbly and India is even able to generate enough of power for the country,” says Aneesh De, partner and head of strategy and operations for infrastructure at KPMG in India. “But the reason we have a supply deficit is due to hurdles in transmission and distribution. Also, demand has been low due to a general slowdown in industrial activity.”
North India remained the most power-deficient region in the country in February, with a shortfall of 38% in peak demand for power, the same level as February 2014.