India’s annual electricity demand fell for the first time in at least 35 years, mainly due to the strict Covid-induced lockdowns across the country, according to government data reviewed by Reuters.
In the fiscal year ending March 2021, power demand in India fell by 1%, the data showed. The dip in electricity consumption is being attributed to the imposition of consecutive lockdowns for the six months ending in August. Power generation also declined by 0.2% during the year 2020-21, compared with the previous year.
However, the demand for electricity has picked up since then, and generation has grown by 23.3% in March from a year earlier, as per the daily load despatch data from POSOCO analysed by Reuters. In fact, power generation in March grew much faster than the average increase of 6% in the past six months. This makes it the seventh consecutive monthly increase and the fastest since March 2010.
The reason for the steady increase in electricity demand now is the country’s economic activity picking up pace again, coupled with the higher temperatures being recorded in March in north India, which might be leading to a higher use of air conditioning.