NEW DELHI: India consumed 11 percent more power in the first fortnight of October than it did a year ago, underlining an uptick in industrial and commercial activities.
Government data pegged power consumption at more than 55 BU (billion units) in the first half of the month against 49.67 BU during the previous comparative period.
The growth in power consumption follows the International Energy Agency saying on October 13 that India will lead the global recovery in energy demand. As reported by TOI, the agency’s World Energy Outlook 2020 said: “With demand in advanced economies on a declining trend, all of the increase comes from emerging market and developing economies, led by India.”
India has started showing signs of recovery in energy demand, a proxy for economic activities. As reported by TOI earlier, diesel and petrol consumption too shot past pre-Covid levels in the first half of October.
Power consumption in the first half of the month clearly indicates a double-digit growth for the full month, given that a total of 97.84 BUs were consumed in October 2019.
Soon after the lockdown began on March 25, power consumption recorded a drop of 8.7 percent for the month, 23.2 percent in April, 14.9 percent in May, 10.9 percent in June, 3.7 percent in July, and 1.7 percent in August. Consumption began rising from September as economic activities picked up as lockdown restrictions eased.
Energy demand has been boosted by rising manufacturing activities and exports, particularly of iron ore, garments, and drugs, which increased the movement of goods. Car sales rose 26% and two-wheelers 12% in September from a year ago. India’s exports too rose 6%, contributing to the uptick in economic activity.