India’s peak demand hits 235 GW, power generation up 10% in April

Temperatures in April were the highest in eastern and northeastern India and the second-highest in southern India since 1901.

Rituraj Baruah
First Published23 May 2024
The increase in overall generation was backed by a robust growth in thermal power generation.
The increase in overall generation was backed by a robust growth in thermal power generation.

India's power generation increased 9.69% to 153.77 billion units (BU) in April but fell short of target as temperatures soared to their highest in more than a century.

Although the generation was higher on year, it fell short of the target of 161.71 million units, showed the CEA data, showed a monthly report by the Central Electricity Authority (CEA). A likely reason could be that thermal capacity addition failed to reach a targeted 800MW.

Thermal power generation rose 10.87% on-year to 123.50 billion units as peak demand hit 235 GW on Wednesday, the highest so far this year.

According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), temperatures in April were the highest over eastern and northeastern India and the second highest over south India since 1901.

Also Read: India is leading the way for sustainable power in the world

Power consumption last month stood at 144.25 billion units

Power consumption last month was at 144.25 billion units, 10.49% higher than 130.55 billion units in the same period of FY23.

Apart from thermal power, which constituted about 80% of the overall generation in the country, nuclear and renewable power s witnessed a rise in April. Renewable power generation rose 8.93% to 17.99 billion units and generation from nuclear power plants was at 4.21 billion units, higher by 21.09% on a year-on-year basis.

A decline in hydro power generation (from large hydro projects) continued in April 2024 with only 7.99 billion units generated which was 7.71% lower from April last year. Low rains and fall in reservoir levels are key factors behind the fall in generation from these large hydro projects.

Also Read: Power prices on exchanges rise as soaring temperatures lift demand

Peak demand is likely to keep surging: In its daily bulletin on Thursday, IMD said: "Heat wave to severe heatwave conditions most likely to continue over plains of Northwest India and heatwave conditions over Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat state during next 5 days."

CEA estimates the peak demand to hit a record of 260 GW this year. In the national capital, peak demand hit a record 8000 MW on Wednesday.

Prices of power on the exchanges, however have largely remained at similar levels as last year. Rohit Bajaj, Executive Director, business development, strategy and regulatory affairs at Indian Energy Exchange (IEX) attributed the check in prices to improved sell-side liquidity or higher availability of power.

“The country’s power consumption has increased almost 14% this year. Given the high-power demand, the government and regulators undertook a string of favourable policy and regulatory measures which improved the sell scenario and increased sell liquidity on the exchanges. This improved sell liquidity kept the prices on the exchange under check. Over the last fortnight, prices on the Day-Ahead Market (DAM) and Real-Time Market (RTM) have averaged 5.2/unit and 4.6/unit respectively which is almost similar to last year," Bajaj said.

"This stability is crucial for ensuring power supply especially during peak summer months,” he added.

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