New Delhi, June 26 (PTI) A continued slump in power demand in the country is affecting thermal capacity utilisation, India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra) said in a report on Friday.
The report highlights the trends in the power sector, with a focus on capacity addition, generation, transmission, merchant power, deficit, regulatory changes and the recent rating actions by Ind-Ra.
In May 2020, the all-India energy demand decreased 14.9 per cent year- on-year to 102.7 billion units, while energy supply fell 14.9 per cent, resulting in the energy deficit remaining at 0.5 per cent as against 0.4 per cent in May 2019, it said.
The ratings agency said that continued decline in all-India power demand is affecting thermal plant load factor (PLF).
Ind-Ra has published the May 2020 edition of its credit news digest on India's power sector.
The power demand declined for May 2020 amid the COVID-19-led lockdown on account of a decline in commercial and industrial demand from major manufacturing states such as Maharashtra (down 11.3 per cent), Gujarat (down 13.5 per cent) and Tamil Nadu (down 15.1 per cent), it added.
The decline in power demand narrowed in May 2020 (down 14.9 per cent), April 2020 (down 22.3 per cent) due to the gradual lifting of lockdown for certain economic activities, increase in domestic consumption with the peak summer season and increase in agricultural usage due to the onset of sowing season, the report stated.
With the decrease in demand, electricity generation (excluding renewables) also decreased 17.7 per cent y-o-y to 96.3 billion units in May 2020 as against a fall of 25.4 per cent in April 2020, with thermal generation declining 21.4 per cent, against a drop of 28.5 per cent in April 2020.
Thermal plant load factor (PLF) declined to 47.9 per cent in May 2020 on account of the lower demand, it pointed out.
PLF or capacity utilisation is measured in terms of proportion of electricity generation in comparison to overall installed capacity.
Central, state and private sector PLFs decreased to 55.2 per cent in May 2020.
Thermal PLFs were the most impacted due to the decline in the power demand over March-May 2020, given the must-run status of nuclear, hydro and renewables.
The short-term power price at Indian Energy Exchange was lower at Rs 2.57/kWh in May 2020, as the difference in buy and sell bid volumes widened to negative 4,443 million units.
The increased power demand in the short-term power market on account of favourable prices on the exchanges for both distribution companies and open access buyers and the gradual lifting of lockdown led to traded volumes increasing 47.8 per cent y-o-y to 5,579 million units in May 2020. The transmission line addition had been lower over June 2019-May 2020, with 10,912 circuit kilometres (km) added (June 2018-May 2019: 21,782 circuit km).
The length of transmission lines added in May 2020 was also lower at 190 circuit km (May 2019: 977 circuit km), with 90.5 per cent of addition coming from the central sector, it added. PTI KKS MKJ