India’s Power Supply Deficit Widens to 0.5% in Q2 2020 Amid COVID: CEA

Peak power demand shortfall in the country stood at 0.4% during the quarter


India’s power supply deficit widened to 0.5% in the second quarter of 2020 (Q2 2020), up from 0.4% in the same period last year, according to the data from the Central Electricity Authority (CEA).

The data showed that between April and June 2020, about 291.8 billion units (BU) of power was supplied against a demand of 293.29 BU, representing a deficit of 1,484 million units (MU) or 0.5%. In the same period last year, 346.21 BU of electricity was supplied against a demand of 347.77 BU, a shortfall of 1,563 MUs over the targeted energy requirement.

The quarter also saw a peak demand of 166.89 BU being met with a supply of 166.23 BU, a 664 MU (0.4%) shortfall. In Q2 2019, 182.53 BU was supplied against a peak demand of 183.67 BU of electricity, 1,140 MU lower than the required, resulting in a peak power supply deficit of 0.6%.

Region-wise Power Supply Position and Peak Demand

The southern and western regions were the only regions with no supply and peak supply deficit during the quarter.

The western region, which includes Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Daman and Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, and Goa, was able to supply all of the 86.73 BU of power demanded. It was also able to meet its peak demand of 51.15 BU entirely.

Similarly, the southern region, which includes Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, and Lakshadweep, also met its power demand of 79.11 BU with a negligible shortfall of 2 MU. The region met its peak demand requirements of 45.66 BU with a shortfall of only 13 MU.

Previously, India’s power supply deficit stood at 0.5% at the end of March for the financial year 2019-20, and the peak power deficit stood at 0.7%, according to the CEA’s data.

In December last year, in its load generation balance report (LGBR), the CEA had projected that India’s anticipated power supply position for the year 2019-20 would reflect a surplus of 5.8% (80.38 billion units) and a peak surplus of 8.4% (15.9 GW). The CEA said the demand-supply gaps were not due to the non-availability of power, but because of transmission and distribution constraints. It noted that there were short-term surpluses in most of the states at some point in time and that this surplus power was sold to deficit states or neighboring countries through bilateral contracts, power exchanges, or traders.

Meanwhile, Mercom recently reported that solar-generated electricity accounted for 50.1 BU in FY 2019-20, according to CEA data. This showed a growth of 28% year-over-year compared to the FY 2018-19, where the total solar energy generated was 39.3 BU. However, the YoY increase was the lowest in the past six years as solar installations have slowed down considerably.


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