India December electricity generation contracts 2.1%

New Delhi: Electricity generation in India contracted year-on-year for the fourth consecutive month in December, according to data released by the Central Electricity Authority.

Electricity generation contracted 2.1% on year to 98.76 bln kWh in December, though the pace of the fall was the slowest in four months.

In September, October, and November, electricity generation had contracted 2.9%, 12.9%, and 6.1%, respectively.

The latest print suggests that the slowdown in electricity generation may have bottomed out.

The contraction in December was on account of thermal power generation, which fell 4.3% on year to 86.12 bln kWh.

Thermal power accounts for about 80% of India's total generation capacity.

Nuclear power generation, on the other hand, increased 15.7% on year to 3.55 bln kWh in December, while hydropower generation rose 14.2% on year to 8.88 bln kWh. Total electricity generation also includes power imported from Bhutan, which rose 531.3% on year to 0.20 bln kWh in December.

During the month, the plant load factor of thermal and nuclear power units was at 54.4% and 70.5%, respectively.

For Apr-Dec, electricity generation was flat on year at 950.40 bln kWh.

The government is aiming at electricity generation of 1,330 bln kWh in 2019-20 (Apr-Mar), up 6.5% on year.

Electricity generation has weight of 7.99% in the Index of Industrial Production. The contraction in power generation in December, albeit narrow, will exert pressure on industrial growth for the month. In other news, state-owned Coal India allocated 16.95 million tonnes (MT) of the dry fuel under special forward e-auction to the power sector in the April-November period of this fiscal, down 22.6% over the year-ago period.

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