NEW DELHI: With the rise in mercury, India’s peak electricity demand hit a new high of 191.24 gigawatts (GW) on Wednesday.

The last recorded peak power demand of 189.64 GW was on January 31 of this year. The new record was set at 12:46 p.m. on June 30 against a backdrop where much of northwest India is still awaiting monsoon rains.

This is gaining in importance as the consumption of energy, in particular electricity and refined products, is generally linked to the overall demand of the economy. On the load model of India’s total electricity demand, industrial and agricultural consumption accounts for 41.16% and 17.69%, respectively. Commercial electricity consumption represents 8.24%.

It also comes against the backdrop of India’s peak electricity demand drop during the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic, with commercial and industrial demand hit after many factories shut down. However, domestic consumption, which generates comparatively lower tariffs, has increased. Demand, which had since revived, fell again in the second wave.

This comes at a time when the operating performance of thermal power projects in India is expected to improve and is good news for coal-fired power projects that were facing low capacity utilization due to of low demand.

In addition, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on Wednesday approved the marquee $ 3.03 trillion electricity distribution company (discom) reform program, in which the Centre’s share will be 97,631 crores.

The ambitious program aims to reduce India’s average overall technical and trade loss from the current level of 21.4% to 12-15% and gradually reduce the gap between the cost of electricity and the price at which it is supplied. to zero “. by 2024-25. The reforms also aim to improve the reliability and quality of the power supply.

“The program is positive for all players in the electricity sector value chain. We believe this is a precursor to “do or perish” for ineffective discos. It is implied that nightclubs that are unable to reform and make up for losses will have to give way to privatization (the delicacy is proposed in the Electricity Amendment Bill), as states no ‘also do not have the fiscal space to continue financing losses in the electricity sector, “ICICI Securities Limited wrote in a report Thursday.

“Additionally, with peak, daily energy demand at record levels (peaking at 191.2 GW on June 30, 21), the timing of reform approval was relevant. We believe this decision will reassess the sector (the entire value chain, including energy financiers) and boost investment (both in production and distribution), ”added the report. ICICI Securities Limited.

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