India’s electricity usage fell by 6.2 percent during the first half of May compared to the second half of April, government data showed, as coronavirus lockdowns imposed by states across the country reduced electricity demand.
Data from the federal grid regulator POSOCO show that during the first sixteen days of May, total daily average power supply to the states fell to 3,666 billion units, compared to 3,910 billion units during the second half of April.
Industries and offices account for half of the country’s annual electricity consumption. Electricity generation in India generally starts increasing from April and reaches its peak in May due to high air conditioning load.
Electricity use in May has been higher than in the previous year, excluding two southern states and two northeastern states, indicating that the ban has been less stringent than the previous year despite an increase in deaths due to the epidemic.
The government – which implemented a stringent national lockout in April and May 2020 – has opposed a nationwide ban during the second wave, but most states have restricted movement.
Senior government officials cited an improvement in electricity demand in late 2020 as the economy began to recover from the worst recession in decades.
Three-quarters of the areas reported a decline in electricity usage in May compared to the second half of April due to restrictions imposed to control the spread of the virus.
Power usage increased in the northern states of Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab and Delhi – in the areas most affected by coronovirus, even as compared to the second half of April, total electricity generation fell by 6.3 percent.
Electricity supplied to Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat – India’s richest and most industrialized states, accounting for nearly a third of total electricity consumption – each declined by more than 5 percent.