Power Demand On Rise Since September, Up 5.5% in December, Says Power Secretary SN Sahai
Power demand has been going up since September and was up 5.5 per cent on a year-on-year basis in December 2020, Power Secretary SN Sahai said on Monday. Indian power demand hit a peak high last week on one single day that was an all-time high surpassing what had happened in May 2019. "The power demand has been going up since September; September it was about 5 percent higher and October over 11 percent higher as compared to 2019. Since September the power demand is up," he said.
Speaking to to CNBC-TV18 about the growth in power demand, Sahai said, "Power demand was 11 percent higher in October and in December it was 5 percent higher. The demand for power will keep increasing. We are one-third of the consumption of the global average is just 1185 units per capita, so the potential of the power demand to grow is immense in our country.”
He also shed light on what was driving the power demand and more such peaks could be expected with incremental consumption of power.
Taking about the Central government's discom package, Sahai said, "This Rs 90,000 crore package that is for infusion of liquidity under the Atmanirbhar Bharat scheme and it was to be done in two tranches. The first tranche is over, we have given Rs 45,000 crore to various discoms and there were conditioned on meeting certain things like smart metering, etc. For phase-II, once they meet the requirements of phase-I they will get the tranche II so that is Rs 90,000 crore."
On the receivables of discoms, losses and the next tranche of liquidity, he said, "The receivables of discoms are the highest from the government, as well as payments of subsidises by the government. Smart metering for consumers is a condition, they have to make a trajectory as well as define a trajectory for the commercial and technical losses. It is only when all these agreed and there is a concrete plan that the next tranche of liquidity will be released."
Sahai also said that financially weak discoms will find it tough to get loans from PFC/REC. "The discoms which are financially stressed they may find it difficult to get loans from PFC and REC because their creditworthiness will be poor. If the board of PFC and REC decide to be stringent in lending these discoms will have to improve and reform," he said.