India’s peak power demand hits record 250 GW

  • On Wednesday, the peak demand had reached 246 GW surpassing the previous high of 243 GW recorded in September last year.

Rituraj Baruah (with inputs from PTI)
First Published30 May 2024
Peak demand levels have reached record levels for the second consecutive day.
Peak demand levels have reached record levels for the second consecutive day.(HT_PRINT)

New Delhi: India's power demand scaled a new record for the second day in a row at 250 GW on Thursday, said the union power ministry, as much of northern India again grappled with heatwave conditions.

The national capital recorded a maximum temperature on Thursday at 45.6 degrees Celsius, 5.2 notches above normal, according to the weather department.

On Wednesday, peak demand hit 246 GW surpassing the previous high of 243 GW recorded in September last year, as the mercury climbed to over 50 degrees Celsius.

The growing demand follows increasing use of cooling appliances amid the rising temperatures.

Also read |  India's peak demand hits 235 GW, power generation up 10% in April

"In a significant achievement for India's power sector, the country has met a record maximum power demand of 250 GW on 30.05.24. Moreover, all India non-solar demand met has also touched an all time high of 234.3 GW on 29th May, reflecting the combined impact of weather-related loads and growing industrial and residential power consumption in these areas," said the power ministry.

Northern demand

On Thursday, the northern region's power demand reached an all-time high of 86.7 GW, while the the western region also touched a record of 74.8 GW.

The ministry said that thermal power generation across also hit an all-time high, achieving a peak of 176 GW, especially during non-solar hours. "

A key contributor in this has been strategic implementation of Section-11, which facilitated the maximization of generation from imported coal based plants as well as gas based plants. This surge further underscores the significant capacity and operational efficiency of India's thermal power plants, which continue to be a backbone of the nation's energy mix," it said.

Also read |  Mint Primer | Into the 50s: Why heatwaves are hotter & longer

Delhi's primary weather station, the Safdarjung Observatory, recorded its second-highest maximum temperature of this summer season so far on Thursday.

This came a day after recording a 79-year high of 46.8 degrees Celsius on Wednesday, according to the IMD data.

On June 17, 1945, a temperature of 46.7 degrees Celsius was recorded. On Wednesday, Delhi's Mungeshpur recorded a maximum temperature of 52.9 degrees Celsius, the highest temperature recorded in the country.

Following this, IMD officials released a press statement saying that they are examining the sensors and data of the area's weather station for any potential errors.

However, the IMD has not issued any report on the inspection of the water sensors in Mungeshpur till now

The ministry has mandated imported coal based plants to operate full capacity till September 2024. Further, the Centre has also extended the mandate to blend 6% imported coal by all domestic coal based plants till June in order to meet the surge in demand.

The national capital witnessed the highest ever demand on Wednesday at 8,302 MW.

Peak still ahead

The country is expected to witness a peak demand of up to 260 GW in the ongoing summers. Amid the surging power demand, the government has decided to ramp up capacity addition of thermal power plants and operate all gas-based power plants at full capacity.

Also read |  Can India keep up with the ebbs and flows of power demand?

The ongoing heatwave has prevailed for longer than expected. June is also expected to be hotter and more humid according to the Indian Meteorological Department, which may lead to the demand touching new highs.

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