NEW DELHI :
Amid an intense heatwave, Delhi touched this season’ record high electricity demand of 5268 MW on Sunday night.
This high power demand from the national capital this summer comes in the backdrop of north-west India continuing to reel under a searing heatwave. Delhi’s electricity demand touched an all-time high of 7,409 MW in July last year.
This also comes at a time of India’s power demand that had nosedived during the lockdown, slowly getting back to its pre-lockdown levels. The country registered a peak electricity demand of 160 gigawatts (GW) on Saturday, Mint reported on Sunday.
This also assumes importance as energy consumption, especially electricity is usually linked to overall demand in the economy. According to Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA), India’ 40-day long national lockdown resulted in a 30% reduction in the country's energy demand.
“Soaring temperature and heat wave main reasons behind the spurt in demand," Tata Power Delhi Distribution Ltd. (TPDDL), that supplies electricity to the northern part of the national capital said in a statement.
With the mercury soaring in the national capital, the cooling load is the main reason behind the increase in Delhi’s power consumption and accounts for half of Delhi's electricity demand in summers.
India Meteorological Department (IMD) declares heatwave when the maximum temperature is at least 45°C or more in two of the stations in a meteorological subdivision for at least two consecutive days. A severe heatwave is declared when the maximum temperature crosses 47 °C.
“Tata Power Delhi Distribution (Tata Power-DDL) successfully met the peak power demand of 1493 MW on Sunday Night without any network constraint and power outage as Delhi touched season’s high of 5268 MW amidst the ongoing heat wave," the TPDDL statement added.
This comes in the backdrop of India slowly opening up for business, with factories opening, trains running and domestic airline operations resuming from major cities.
“For the last two months, the closing down of commercial and industrial establishments besides offices had led a sharp decline in the overall power demand. However, with relaxations in lockdown there are signs of revival of activities and the peak power demand in Delhi is expected to touch the last year’s peak of 7409 MW by July 2020," the statement said.
While the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government imposed a janta curfew on 22 March, it put in place the world’s strictest lockdown starting 25 March to 14 April, that was later extended till 3 May.
Northwest India and large parts of the central region are witnessing the hottest days of the season with maximum temperatures hovering over 45°C across most areas leading to intense heatwave. The weather department has declared a red warning for Haryana, Chandigarh and Delhi for the next two days
“As per India Meteorological Department (IMD), Delhi will witness a severe heat wave over the next few days and the temperature will continue to soar in the range of 45-47 degrees. The Department has already declared a Red Alert in the city so that the service providers and the government agencies can plan things in advance for the overall public good," the statement added.
India’s peak demand in FY19 was 168.74GW and touched a record high of 183 GW in May last year. India has an installed power-generation capacity of 368.69GW.