Power demand is gradually returning towards normalcy as more factories and shops have now opened after restrictions were lifted. India’s power demand rose 11.5 per cent on-year in October 2020, which is a second consecutive rise, said a report by India Ratings. The rise in power demand is witnessed after it fell to 109.6 billion units over March-August 2020. Northern and western regions have largely contributed to this growth as certain economic activities caught pace during the month. However, even though the energy demand has been recovering, the demand over April-October 2020 stood 6 per cent lower than in the same duration last year.
Excluding renewables, the electricity generation rose 8.9 per cent in October, owing to 13.3 per cent on-year growth in thermal generation. Thermal plant load factor (PLF) increased to 55.5 per cent in the month, on account of the increased demand and sufficient coal supply at power plants, the report underlined. The plant load factor is considered as a measure of a power plant’s capacity utilisation.
On the other hand, the renewable energy sector continued to grow at a handsome pace in October as well. With capacity addition and a continuous push from the government’s side, the trend of green energy is on a rise. Electricity generation from renewable sources rose 36.6 per cent on-year, with a 27 per cent rise in solar and wind capacity. The wind generation rose 75 per cent in the month.
Further, electricity generation rose 7.8 per cent on-year in the first 15 days of November, according to the government’s preliminary data. Meanwhile, the power generation companies suffered severe losses during the lockdown months as the commercial demand was badly hit. This came as a double-edged sword for the power companies as they were already reeling through losses. In September 2020, power generation surpassed the generation in the same month of last year for the first time in seven months.