The first half of this financial year saw a jump in electricity demand led by states such as Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Telangana, shows data from the Central Electricity Authority. Maharashtra was the single largest consumer of electricity in India with a demand for 75,169 million units (MU) during April to September, the data shows. This was an increase of 8.6 per cent over the demand for 69,216 MU in the year ago period. Among the larger states, Uttar Pradesh showed a growth of 15.37 per cent year-on-year to 65,284 MU. Rajasthan and Telangana too showed good growth of 54.8 per cent and 15.34 per cent, respectively. Tripura — a state with a consumption of around 1,000 MU— saw its demand grow at a whopping 94.39 per cent.
Overall, these states pushed up the all-India demand for power to 589,234 MU in the first half of fiscal 2018, an increase of 5.2 per cent over a year ago. This growth would have been higher but for the drag from some other states. Tamil Nadu, for instance, saw growth slip by 0.42 per cent from a year ago. Madhya Pradesh’s demand was almost unchanged, while Gujarat’s demand rose by only 0.57 per cent.
Rating agency ICRA Ltd warned in a recent report that it is unclear whether such high growth overall would be sustainable. It said even in the first six months of the previous financial year, growth was high at 4.9 per cent, but it slowed down afterwards to a cumulative 2.6 per cent for the entire year.
“Energy demand growth has been subdued in the last two-three year period, which in turn has resulted in a decline in the energy deficit levels in the country. Weak energy demand growth is also a result of subdued demand from industrial consumer segment (which accounts for about 30 per cent share in overall energy demand in the country) and the paying capacity constraints for state-owned distribution utilities,” ICRA said in its report.