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Power consumption sees 8.2% growth in May amid slow recovery in commercial, industrial demand

The slower pace of recovery in industrial demand of electricity in May can be attributed to local lockdown restrictions

Power consumption in the country witnessed an 8.2% year-on-year growth in May at 110.47 billion units (BU), indicating slow recovery in commercial and industrial demand of electricity, according to power ministry data.

The slower pace of recovery in industrial demand of electricity in May can be attributed to local lockdown restrictions imposed by States to curb the spread of coronavirus amid the second wave of the pandemic, experts believe.

Moreover, the two cyclones that hit the east and west coast of the country in May resulted in power outages and lesser consumption due to rains in different areas of the country during peak summer season, they said.

They are hopeful that the commercial and industrial power consumption as well as demand would rise in coming days with many States easing local lockdown restrictions imposed to curb the second wave of coronavirus after the number of daily new positive cases of COVID-19 has started declining.

The power consumption in the entire month of May last year was 102.08 BU due to the impact of the lockdown imposed to curb the COVID-19 and had witnessed a year-on-year fall of nearly 15% in May 2020.

Power consumption was 120.02 BU in May, 2019.

Therefore, power consumption in May this year has not recovered as fast as it should have been, in view of lower base in 2020.

Last year, the government had imposed a lockdown on March 25, 2020 to contain the spread of coronavirus. The lockdown was eased later in a phased manner, but 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 40% to 118.08 BU.

Power consumption in April, 2020, had dropped to 84.55 BU from 110.11 BU over the same month in 2019, mainly due to fewer economic activities following the imposition of lockdown by the government in the last week of March, 2020, to contain the spread of deadly COVID-19.

Similarly, peak power demand met or the highest power supply in a day also slumped to 132.73 GW in April last year from 176.81 GW in the same month in 2019, showing the impact of lockdown on economic activities.

However, this year, peak power demand met improved to 182.55 GW in April.

During May this year, peak power demand met or the highest supply in a day touched the highest level of 168.78 GW and recorded growth of over 1.5% over 166.22 GW (peak met) recorded in the same month in 2020.

Power consumption in February this year was recorded at 103.25 BU compared to 103.81 BU last year. But 2020 was a leap year.

In March this year, the power consumption grew nearly 22% 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 a 4.6% year-on-year growth in September 2020 and 11.6% in October 2020. In November 2020, the power consumption growth slowed to 3.12%, mainly due to the early onset of winters.

In December 2020, power consumption grew by 4.5% while it was up 4.4% in January 2021.

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