Less industrialized Indian states lead recovery in electricity demand, Energy News, ET EnergyWorld

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CHENNAI: India’s less industrialized states have led to a pickup in demand for electricity that began in September, Reuters analysis of government data showed.

Electricity consumption in less industrialized states such as Bihar and Chhattisgarh in the east, and Uttar Pradesh and Punjab in the north, increased by more than 10% each from the previous year, at both for the quarter and the six months ending March 31, the data showed.

All of these states – which have high agricultural and residential electricity consumption – used more electricity than in the previous year, although India’s annual electricity demand fell for the first time in at least 35 years in 2020/21.

The imposition of coronavirus lockdowns resulted in lower electricity consumption for six consecutive months through August, but consumption has since increased for seven consecutive months, with use in March increasing at the fastest rate in 11 years.

Industries and offices account for half of the country’s annual electricity consumption. Senior government officials, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, have cited the resumption in demand for electricity as a sign that the economy is also starting to recover from its worst crisis in decades.

More industrialized states such as Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat saw a drop in annual electricity consumption in 2020/21, according to an analysis of daily load shipping data from the federal power grid regulator POSOCO .

Electricity demand growth in Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu has been below the national average for the past seven years, but consumption in Gujarat has grown faster than the national average during this period, data shows of the government.

In the last quarter, electricity consumption rose 7.3% in Maharashtra, India’s most industrialized state.

However, Tamil Nadu – home to a large number of major car manufacturers – saw its electricity consumption drop 2.8% over the same period.

Consumption rose 9.4% in the western state of Gujarat during the quarter, but it declined slightly in Karnataka – a southern state with a large tech industry.

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