Lockdown Sees Power Demand Drop by 20 GW; Spot Power Price Touches 60p

The nationwide lockdown has wiped away the power demand by as much as 20 GW and forced the spot power price of electricity drop to a three-year low of 60p

Power Demand Spot Price Drop

According to data made by available by the Indian Energy Exchange (IEX) the nationwide 21-day lockdown which has seen all factories and businesses shut down operations, has wiped away the power demand by as much as 20 gigawatts (GW) and forced the spot power price of electricity drop to a three-year low of 60 paise (60p).

According to data from the IEX, the previous low of minimum spot electricity price was recorded at 52 paise per unit in 2017 which rose to Rs 1.72 per unit in 2018 and then dipped to 94 paise in 2019 before touching a three-year low of 60 paise in 2020 for supply on Wednesday (March 25, 2020).

Among others, the power sector is also bracing for gloomy days ahead due to sluggishness in demand due to complete lockdown in the country for the next three weeks amid the coronavirus outbreak.

“The peak power demand has come down by around 20 GW to 157.5 GW till March 23 this month, from 168.7 GW in March last year,” an industry source told PTI. The peak power demand was 135.2 GW on Sunday and 145.5 GW on Monday this month.

According to the IEX data, the average spot power price was Rs 1.95 per unit in the day-ahead market (DAM) for the March 25, 2020, supply. The trading on the power bourse is done for two hours daily from 10 am to 12 pm. The data showed that there were buy bids for 80,096 megawatts-hours (MWh) against the sell bids of 3,85,564 MWh for supply on Wednesday at the IEX during trading in DAM, showing lower demand for electricity through open access.

The total sold volume was 77,545 MWh for Wednesday supply at the exchange at an average price of Rs 1.95 per unit.

The industry source also said the demand is unlikely to pick up in the next three weeks and suggested that the distribution companies (Discoms) can schedule cheap power available under open access on exchanges and reduce consumption of expensive supplies.

The power demand from industrial units and Discoms was down by 40 percent and 42 percent, respectively, on the IEX.

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