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Cold wave shoots power demand to highest ever; minister claims indicator of recovery

Power and new and renewable energy minister Raj Kumar Singh said that the peak demand for power crossed 1,85,829 megawatt at 9:35 am on Wednesday

twitter-logoBusinessToday.In | January 20, 2021 | Updated 16:15 IST
Cold wave shoots power demand to highest ever; minister claims indicator of recovery

India's power demand has surged to its highest ever on Wednesday. Power and new and renewable energy minister Raj Kumar Singh said that the peak demand for power crossed 1,85,829 megawatt at 9:35 am on Wednesday. "This is the highest ever, a record," he said. While the minister credited the economic recovery for the increase in demand, it must be mentioned that the power demand has peaked at a time when the cold wave has gripped parts of the country, especially North India.

RK Singh said, "The demand (and supply) of power in January (upto 19.01.2021) has grown by 8% as compared to the corresponding period last year.  This is the highest rate of growth ever.  The surging demand for power is a certain indicator that our economy is getting back on track. The surging demand also shows the success of Subhagya, under which we gave all homes including the poor and the under privileged access to power. This is a matter of satisfaction for us in the Ministry of Power."

Power Secretary SN Sahai also said, "Power demand continues to surge. Yet another record - all India demand: 185.82 GW ie 185,822 MW at 09:35 hrs today ie 20/01/21. It has crossed previous all India demand of 182.89 GW i.e. 182,888 MW on 30th December, 2020."

According to data from the power ministry, the peak power demand met (the highest supply in a day) during January last year stood at 170.97 GW.

While the ministry has said that the power demand is an indication of economic resuscitation, parts of the country is also experiencing an intense cold wave. Power demand as well as fuels tend to increase during cold waves.

Power demand started declining from April as economic activities were disrupted in the country due to COVID-19. The pandemic had affected power demand for five months in a row from April to August 2020. Power demand recovered from September 2020 onwards.

Nevertheless, intense cold and fog has engulfed North India with Delhi temperature dipping to 7.8 degree Celsius on Wednesday. Fresh Western Disturbance is expected that is likely to affect the Western Himalayan region from Friday onwards. IMD is expecting temperatures to drop to 4 degree Celsius on Monday.

North India is also experiencing dense fog. Dense to very dense fog is likely to continue in Uttar Pradesh, isolated pockets over Rajasthan, Nagaland, Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, and Tripura. Dense fog is expected in sub-Himalayan West Bengal and Sikkim as well as in Delhi, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Chandigarh, Bihar, and Odisha.

Rain and thunderstorms are also expected in parts of Assam, Meghalaya, sub-Himalayan West Bengal, Sikkim, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala.

Also read: Power demand touches all-time high of 185.82 GW, says Secretary S N Sahai

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