The lockdown has considerably brought down the demand for electricity consumption in Mumbai and Maharashtra. For Mumbai, the demand is hovering around 1600-2400 MW through the day which otherwise crosses 3300 MW during this time of the year. Likewise the state too is consuming 5000-7000 MW less than it normally does. Cyclone Tauktae too has already caused severe disruption to power transmission and distribution cables, feeders and transformers.
Partial lockdown has been imposed since the outbreak of second wave of Covid-19. This has brought down the demand from the industrial, corporate offices and commercial sectors which are heavy power guzzlers. Thus over the past few weeks, Mumbai and Maharashtra has seen a considerable drop in power consumption.
According to data maintained by Maharashtra State Load Despatch Centre (SLDC), as on May 21, the maximum demand for power in Mumbai touched 2500 MW while the minimum was 1839 MW. While rest of the state had a maximum demand of 18124 MW and it had also dropped to 15927 MW. This usually crosses 25000 MW in summers.
On May 17, when Cyclone Tauktae had entered the coast of Maharashtra, the MSEDCL was supplying as low as 14255 MW due to the drop in demand and likewise in Mumbai the minimum demand was 1818 MW. According to power experts, the demand for electricity has dropped further since April.
“As offices, industries and manufacturing units are shut, the demand for electricity has dropped further. In February, Mumbai’s average power consumption had touched 2900Mw which now has gone to 2400Mw or so. If the industry sector is not functioning then another issue of tariff hike in future too could crop up as there is nothing to cross subsidize the residential consumers,” said Ashok Pendse, a power expert.
Experts feel that there is every chance that the average cost of power will go up by 7-10 percent. As demand has dropped, there are several power plants that are not generating power and lying idle. Many power plants are showing ‘Zero Schedule’ as they are not generating power, while some are also facing ‘Gas Shortage’.