The country's power demand rose 11.5 per cent year-on-year (YoY) in October 2020, which is a rise for the second consecutive month. The rise in energy demand was recorded after it fell to 109.6 billion units over March-August 2020, according to a recent research report by India Ratings and Research. The demand for power and energy is slowly returning to normalcy as several shops and factories opened after the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions were lifted. The western and northern parts of the country largely contributed towards the growth in demand as economic activities resumed during the month. Even though the energy demand has been getting better, the demand in April-October 2020 is 6 per cent lower than the same period last year.
The renewable energy sector continued to grow with regular output and demand. The electricity generation from renewable sources increased 36.6 per cent YoY with a 27 per cent growth in the solar and wind capacity. The wind generation increased by 75 per cent in October. With factors such as capacity addition and efficient sustainability, the trend for green energy is on a rise across the country.
Excluding the renewable sources, the electricity generation increased by 8.9 per cent in October, owing to 13.3 per cent YoY growth in thermal generation. The thermal plant load factor increased to 55.5 per cent in the month, due to higher demand and sufficient coal supply at the power plant, according to the report. The load factor is considered to be a measure of a power plant's specific capacity utilisation.
Additionally, coal production by Coal India Limited (CIL) rose 18.5 per cent YoY to 46.8mt in October due to increased production at its key subsidiaries. Despite the recovery in demand, the company's coal supply to the power sector was lower 6.6 per cent YoY in the April-October period at 236.97 million tonnes.
According to the government's data, the electricity generation increased by 7.8 per cent YoY in the first 15 days of November 2020.