Electricity requirement is set to continue to rise strongly in February. Average daily consumption of electricity between 1-26 February was 4.2 billion kwh as per provisional data. This was 2.8 per cent higher than that for 1-26 January. It is likely that requirement for the month of February will be higher than that in January when adjusted for the number of days in the month.
Average daily consumption for 1-26 February 2023 was also higher by 7.5 per cent than 1-26 February 2022.
The increase in electricity consumption in February 2023 is no surprise. February 2023 was the hottest February in 122 years. Daily average maximum temperature across India, which is historically 24 C in February, rose to 29.5 C in 2023. This propelled domestic requirement of electricity.
Electricity requirement’s strong showing in February will be its third sturdy performance in as many months. December and January saw a sequential growth of 8 per cent and 5.5 per cent, respectively. In December, electricity requirement rose by 6.8 billion kwh to 119.3 billion kwh. In January, it went up by 6.6 billion kwh to 125.9 billion kwh.
The consecutive increase came on the back of a sequential fall. Electricity requirement had gone from 127.3 billion kwh in September to 112.5 billion kwh in November.
Electricity requirement has also expanded in year-on-year terms. It increased by 8.9 per cent in December 2022 over December 2021. In January 2023, the growth was 12.2 per cent over January 2022.
The deficit between requirement and availability of electricity widened as requirement increased sequentially. In December, the deficit went up 0.1 percentage points to 0.3 per cent. In January, it widened further to 0.6 per cent. This is the highest deficit since April 2022 when it had clocked 1.94 per cent.
Energy shortage for 1-26 February was 0.4 billion kwh, cumulatively. This is about 0.2 billion kwh lesser than during 1-26 January.
The shortage was lesser owing to sturdy generation of electricity. Unlike requirement data, provisional data for electricity generation from conventional sources is available for the entire month of February. This data suggests that 111.4 billion kwh of electricity was generated from conventional sources in February. This is 7.2 billion kwh or 6.1 per cent lower than that in January. When adjusted for the number of days, electricity generated in February is 4 per cent higher than that in January.
In January, electricity generation from conventional sources increased by 3.1 billion kwh. This was 2.7 per cent higher than that in December. 118.6 billion kwh of electricity was generated from conventional sources in January.
Thermal sources contributed the most to electricity generation and, in turn, to meet the requirement in both January and February. In February, 95.8 billion kwh of electricity was generated from thermal sources as per provisional daily data. This made up for 89.1 per cent of the total electricity generated from conventional sources in February. January saw thermal sources make up for 89.7 per cent of the total electricity generated from conventional sources. 106.4 billion kwh of electricity was generated from thermal sources. When adjusted for the number of days, 3.4 per cent more electricity was generated from thermal sources in February than in January.
Provisional data suggests that February had a higher requirement and a higher generation of electricity compared to January when adjusted for number of days. A lot of the increase in requirement came from a hike in domestic demand owing to increase in temperatures. According to the India Meteorological Department, India is set to see multiple heat waves between March and May. In such a case, it is safe to say that there will be a further increase in requirement and, possibly, generation in the coming months.