Power demand up 1.7% y-o-y in November 2021


Energy demand increased on a pan-India basis, albeit marginally, by 1.7 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y), to 99.6 billion units (BU) in November 2021 as demand from north and south India declined due to onset of winters as well as lower generation, India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra) said.

“The slowdown in the improvement was led by the onset of the winter season, impacting demand from the northern (up 2 per cent y-o-y) and southern region (down 5 per cent y-o-y). Ind-Ra believes that reduction in the energy demand in November 2021 is also attributable to lower generation, as reflected in an increase in the power outages at thermal power plants due to coal shortages,” the ratings agency said.

Total all-India generation increased marginally by 2 per cent to 99.4 BU in November 2021. The overall increase in generation was however supported by a 16.4 per cent y-o-y increase in the generation from renewable sources and a 16 per cent y-o-y rise in generation from hydro power sources, whereas the generation from coal-based thermal power plants reduced by 0.3 per cent y-o-y, Ind-Ra pointed out.

Besides, the all-India energy demand for the first 25 days of December 2021 improved by 3.5 per cent y-o-y to 88.7 BU.

Coal production

Total production of coal by Coal India (CIL) and Singareni Collieries increased 5 per cent y-o-y to 59.4 million tonnes (MT) (from October 2021: up 8 per cent month-on-month), owing to the improved all-India power demand. The same led to an 11 per cent y-o-y improvement in coal off-take to 56.8 MT and the coal inventory at thermal power stations declined 53.2 per cent y-o-y to 17.5 MT in November 2021 (from October 2021: up 62 per cent m-o-m).

The improvement in domestic coal production has led to an improvement in the coal inventory levels, with the number of thermal power plants with critical or sub-critical levels of coal stock as per technical criteria improving to 59 as of November 2021 (October 2021: 77 plants; September 2021: 102 plants).

Led by slight improvement in coal-based power generation and capacity addition, the plant load factor (PLFs) of coal-based power plants improved only marginally to 53.5 per cent in November 2021 (November 2020: 53 per cent). Besides, the thermal sector’s PLFs across the Central, State and private sectors increased to 64.31 per cent in November 2021 (November 2020: 60.6 per cent), 52.35 per cent (November 2020: 44.82 per cent) and 61.55 per cent (November 2020: 53.96 per cent), respectively.

Furthermore, the electricity generation from renewable sources improved 16.4 per cent y-o-y in November 2021 to 13.6 BU, led by a 13 per cent y-o-y improvement in the solar power generation to 4.8 BU, and a 4 per cent y-o-y improvement in the wind generation to 3.15 BU.

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