Power Supply

COVID-19 Impact: Contraction in electricity demand during the lockdown.

Published annually by Central Electricity Authority under Ministry of Power. Updated till fiscal year 2019-20 (Published in July, 2020).

Note1: Peak met- It is the highest electric power available against the peak demand during a specific period of time. For more information please click here.

Note2: The years in the graph represent the fiscal year, for instance, the year 2013 represents the period April 2012-March 2013

Recent Data Trend

India's power supply position has been improving significantly since the FY2013-14. The energy deficit and peak deficit further narrowed down to 0.5% and 0.7% in FY2019-20. However, like other sectors, the power sector too has taken a hit due to the COVID-19 induced countrywide lockdown since April 2020.

Electricity consumption and generation have plummeted considerably during the COVID-19 outbreak. The national peak power demand has seen a 33% dip from 177.1 GW in February to 133.3 GW in April. On an annual basis, the peak power demand contracted by 25% in April and 9% in May. (source) Driven by the lower demand, the electricity generation contracted for three consecutive months since March 2020.

The considerable decline in power demand primarily stems from factory and office closures in the commercial and industrial sectors, accounting for more than 50% of India's total electricity consumption. Though domestic demand may have seen an uptick as people are staying indoors, it has evidently failed to offset the decline in overall electricity demand.

The decrease in demand and revenue erosion will further burden the DISCOMs financial position that continues to register losses. Low demand from industrial consumers, especially as these sectors pay the highest tariffs and a moratorium for payment of electricity bills by residential sectors will further weigh down the finances of DISCOMs. This can also impact other entities in the supply chain, including generation companies.

Now that the government has started to ease lockdown restrictions, the resumption of economic activity could improve electricity demand, although it would be gradual and limited. A downward revision by IMF for India's GDP growth in FY2020-21 to -4.5% YoY from 1.9% YoY earlier also emphasizes that electricity demand may continue to remain subdued.

Brief Overview

The power sector in India has made massive addition to generation, transmission and distribution capacity since Independence. Despite this, the country has always been lagging behind in meeting its electricity demand. In the last 5 years, the shortages have reduced substantially, and in fact, at present, we have underutilised generating capacity. However, the country continues to face long hours of power cut due to the constraints in the transmission and distribution system.

Power supply position is expressed in terms of energy deficit (energy availability – energy requirement) and peak deficit (Peak met – Peak demand). Energy deficit is generally measured in terms of units (1 unit= 1 kilowatt-hour (kWh)) and peak deficit in terms of GigaWatts (GW). We have extracted the data from the booklet "Growth of Electricity sector in India" published annually by Central Electricity Authority.

For further information, please visit the official government website.

Next Release Date: To be decided.

Installed Generating Capacity-Annual

Note: The years in the graph represent the fiscal year, for instance, the year 2013 represents the period April 2012-March 2013. The above data has been sourced from the  Energy Statistics, MOSPI. To know more about this, visit the official government website.

Electricity Generation-Annual

Note1: From 1996 onwards, Thermal generation also includes power generation from Renewables Energy Sources.  The above data has been sourced from the Energy Statistics, MOSPI. To know more about this, visit the official government website.

Note2: Utilities- Undertakings whose essential purpose is the production, transmission, and distribution of electric energy. These may be private companies, nationalised undertakings or governmental organisations. Non-Utilities- An independent power producer which is not a public utility, but which owns facilities to generate electric power for sale to utilities and end users.

Note3: The years in the graph represent the fiscal year, for instance, the year 2013 represents the period April 2012-March 2013

Transmission and Distribution Losses- Annual

Note 1: PFC- Power Finance Corporation Ltd. The aggregate losses and average revenue realised are on subsidy received basis. 1 Unit= 1 kilowatt-hour (kWh) To know more please visit the official government website.

Note 2: The years in the graph represent the fiscal year, for instance, the year 2013 represents the period April 2012-March 2013.