Delhi’s Peak Power Demand Reduces By Up To 49% During Lockdown
Electricity and telephone wires run above a street near the Jama Masjid mosque in New Delhi, India. (Photographer: Brent Lewin/Bloomberg)

Delhi’s Peak Power Demand Reduces By Up To 49% During Lockdown

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Delhi's peak power demand has reduced by up to 49 percent with commercial and industrial activities virtually at a standstill due to the lockdown imposed to contain the spread of coronavirus, discom and power department officials said.

According to official data, the peak power demand during the day has reduced by 40-50 percent, while the peak electricity demand during the night has reduced by around 20-30 percent.

The higher reduction in the day's power demand is due to the closure of commercial and industrial establishments in the lockdown which has led to around 70-90 percent reduction of electricity demand in this segment, the officials said.

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Since the Janta Curfew on March 22 which was followed by the nationwide lockdown, the city's peak power demand has reduced by up to 49 percent in comparison with the peak electricity demand last year, the officials said.

"The reduction in the peak demand is basically due to reduction in industrial and commercial activities during the lockdown," a spokesperson of Tata Power Delhi Distribution Ltd. said.

However, the domestic load has experienced no impact during the lockdown.

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"People are confined to their homes and using electric appliances. So, there is no impact on Delhi's domestic load, which is around 75 percent of total power load. In fact, there is a slight increase in this category," a discom official said.

The power demand situation is expected to remain the same till the lockdown is in force. The demand is expected to rise with an increase in the temperature in summers, he said.

"Being in essential services, BSES is always geared-up to ensure quality and reliable power supply to its consumers. We are closely watching the evolving coronavirus situation in the national capital and taking all appropriate measures to ensure reliable power supply," a spokesperson of power discom BSES.

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According to the officials, Delhi's peak power demand in March considerably declined, even before the lockdown was announced.

On March 15, the national capital's peak power demand was 3421 Megawatt that sharply reduced by around 33 percent on March 22 to 2294 MW.

The city's electricity demand was 4016 MW in March last year, while this year, it was 3775 MW, the officials said.

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Since the lockdown, Delhi's highest peak power demand has been 2486 MW on March 25, 2020, they said.

Delhi's peak electricity demand in April last year was 5664 MW, while the peak demand till April 22 this year was 3169 MW -- reduced by 44 percent.

With the lockdown expected to be eased out in a phased manner from May 3, the demand is expected to pick up (as per projections) in June and July, the officials said.

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For May, the demand is expected to be reduced by about 15 percent from the projected values if the lockdown is lifted. But if the lockdown gets extended, the average reduction in demand is expected to be around 43-45 percent in comparison to last year's peak electricity demand during the month, the officials said.

In view of heatwave predictions, however, the average reduction in peak demand will fall to about 35 percent in June and July, they added.

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