India’s Power Demand to Rise Sharply to Over 256 GW in FY 2024-25

The Central Electricity Authority (CEA) has forecast an all-India peak power demand of 256.53 GW in financial year (FY) 2024-25, rising sharply from FY 2023-24.

Power demand will soar above 256 GW in September 2024, according to the CEA’s prediction.

Peak power demand has been rising steadily over the past few years, with September 1 this year recording 240 GW. An increase in industrial activity and an unusually dry August were among the reasons for power demand scaling new heights this year. Insufficient rain during the month led to an increase in the use of pump sets to irrigate agricultural lands with groundwater.

In terms of units, the energy requirement in 2024-25 is expected to touch 1,736,357 MUs.

The power requirement is forecast to be above 230 GW from April 2024 to March 2025, except for three months – October, November, and December 2024.

The northern region will see a peak demand of 90.6 GW in August 2024, the western region 76.43 GW in March 2025, the southern region 73.11 GW in March 2025, the eastern region 36.33 GW in September 2024, and the north-eastern region 4.29 GW also in September 2024.

On September 1 this year, when power demand hit a new high, coal accounted for 70% of the generation, hydroelectricity 14%, and renewables 9%. Lignite, nuclear, gas, naphtha, and diesel made up for the remaining 7%.

The southern states accounted for the highest share of renewables in overall power generation at 18.25%, with the northern region coming in second at 11.03%.

The lower-than-desired share of renewables in electricity generation could once again see India leaning heavily on coal. While India has seen a steady rise of renewables in the power mix, the pace of capacity additions has left much to be desired. The government has been taking steps to ensure higher levels of coal supplies to thermal power plants this year.

India added a mere 1.7 GW of solar capacity in the second quarter of Q2 2023, with installations dropping nearly 10% from 1.9 GW in the previous quarter. Capacity additions fell almost 58% year-over-year from 4 GW, according to Mercom’s Q2 2023 India Solar Market Update.

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