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PM Modi's April-5 call: What happens when power demand goes down -- and rises sharply

To show the unity of 1.3 billion people, PM Modi on Friday asked Indians to switch off lights in homes and light candles, diyas or mobile flashlight for nine minutes at 9 pm on April 5. This has has created fear of 'grid shutdown'

twitter-logoBusinessToday.In | April 4, 2020 | Updated 01:00 IST
PM Modi's April-5 call: What happens when power demand goes down -- and rises sharply
The Power Ministry is confident of handling surge after a sudden drop in demand

Though Prime Minister Narendra Modi's nine-minute call for shutting down of lights has created fear of 'grid shutdown', that's clearly unlikely. The reason being that household demand is a fraction of India's total power demand. Indian's peak power demand, at best, is about 170 GW. However, due to lockdown, the demand has fallen by more than 20 per cent and it currently hovers around 120-130 GW. Of this, household barely comprises 10-12 per cent. Officials believe a sudden drop and rise after nine-minute shutdown won't cause disruption as it's already prepared to manage up to 15 GW fluctuation.

"We are making arrangements. We are preparing for fluctuations of 15GW. Backup will also be ready for demand," an official said. In this regard, Power Minister RK Singh met Power Grid Corporation of India (PGCIL) and load dispatcher Power System Operation Corporation Ltd (POSOCO), officials. Singh was assured they were confident of handling the surge after a sudden drop in demand.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's on Friday appealed to Indians to switch off lights for nine minutes on April 5 and light diyas or candles, mobile flashes, etc.  With the country facing unprecedented 21-day shutdown till April 14, most industries and corporate houses are shut, which has already taken the electricity demand down. As a result, the government claims to have an adequate electricity supply, which it says will be useful as backup capacity in case of a major grid shutdown.

According to the power ministry data, the maximum power demand in the country stood at 1,25,817 MW on April 2, 2020, almost 20 per cent lower than April 2, 2019 of 1,68,326 MW. The POSOCO, which has centres in every state, will be keeping an eye on the grid on April 5.

In a bid to show the unity of 1.3 billion people of the country, PM Modi on Friday asked Indians to switch off the lights in their homes and light candles, diyas or the mobile flashlight for nine minutes at 9pm on April 5. This was the second such show of unity the Prime Minister has urged for.

During janta curfew, PM Modi asked people to clap and clank utensils in their homes as a show of support to the frontline workers. "This Sunday we must show coronavirus that we fight with light. We must show it the strength of 1.3 billion people. On April 5, I ask you for 9 minutes of your time. Switch off all the lights at home. Light a candle or diya or mobile flashlight at the doors of your homes for 9 minutes. When we all do this, we can show the force of the light. We must realise that we are not alone," the PM said in a video message.

Also Read: Coronavirus outbreak: India Inc.'s post 21-day lockdown plan

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