India's power demand has dropped by over 20 per cent in the first five days of May as compared to the corresponding period last year. The fall, captured in official data released by Power System Operation Corporation (POSOCO), is attributed to the slump in the economic activity in the wake of the ongoing lockdown due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The fall in peak demand -- the highest energy supply during the day -- in the first five days of May hovered between 19 per cent and 23 per cent, with the average fall in demand being 20.42 per cent. On May 5, the peak power demand dropped to 134.89 gigawatt (GW) as compared to 168.62 GW last year, registering a drop of 20 per cent.
Power demand in India has been falling in the wake of the ongoing nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic. The government on May 3 extended the lockdown for two more weeks, permitting some considerable relaxations and activities to resume in the districts falling in the green and orange zones mapped in the country.
The drop in demand has already pulled spot power prices to the lowest level in more than two years and could spell further financial troubles for the ailing discoms. In April, the average power price in the market stood at Rs 2.42 per unit, registering a 25 per cent decline from Rs 3.22 per unit registered in the corresponding period last year.
According to Indian Energy Exchange the national peak power demand declined by 25 per cent to 133 gigawatt (GW) in April 2020 and the power trade also saw a decline of 6.6 per cent at 4,052 million units (MUs) in April.
Domestic industry body Confederation of Indian Industry last month said demand compression could result in net revenue loss in a range between Rs 25,000 crore and Rs 30,000 crore at the discom level, which could further increase the liquidity crunch to around 50,000 crore.