Peak power demand in India drops 12.5% as monsoon picks up pace

With the cooling down of heatwaves as the monsoon spreads across the country, power demand has fallen by 12.5 per cent from the start of this month till Monday.

Peak power demand of the country had touched a record of 210 Gw last week, mostly due to rising temperatures and opening up of the economy.

Compared with the beginning of this month, almost all states have seen a fall in power demand.

Punjab, however, is an exception where the power demand on Monday was 17 per cent higher than on June 1.

This could be due to extensive use of pumps by farmers to water their paddy fields ahead of the sowing season starting on June 15.

Power demand had shot up due to severe heatwaves and temperatures touching 48 degrees Celsius in several parts of the country.

Coupled with coal demand supply mismatch, several states also resorted to power cuts to manage the situation.

Though rains have picked up, hydro power is yet to increase its contribution to the power supply basket.

Hydro power supply for the past 20 days is in the range of 450-500 million units per day. Coal-based power continues to be the major supplier.

Meanwhile, the monsoon rains continued to march forward over the central and northern parts of the country and till June 21, and the cumulative all-India deficit was just 2 per cent below normal.

In the first 10 days of this month it was over 40 per cent below normal.

The sedate start of the 2022 southwest monsoon had triggered fears about the performance of the rains, which also delayed sowing of kharif crops in several parts of the country.

But with the rains recovering strongly the past few days, sowing of kharif crops is expected to pick up pace.

The pullback in southwest monsoon during the past 10 days has been largely led by East and North-East India, where the cumulative rainfall in the first 21 days of 2022 southwest monsoon has been 43 per cent above normal.

Pre-monsoon showers in the central and northern parts of the country also contributed to narrowing down the overall deficit. (see chart)

Meanwhile, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said in its latest weather forecast that scattered to fairly widespread rainfall is expected over the plains of Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan during next 24 hours and could reduce thereafter.

That apart, scattered to fairly widespread rainfall with thunderstorms or lightning is very likely over Madhya Pradesh, Vidarbha and Chhattisgarh during next five days.

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