Diwali, the festival of lights, in 2020 was brighter than last year on higher electricity demand, according to data collated by the Power System Operation Corporation Limited. The maximum power demand that was met during the day stood at 1,40,059 MW on November 14, 2020 significantly outpacing the 1,24,786 MW peak demand recorded on October 27, 2019.
The power generation (Genco) and distribution companies (Discoms) were also better prepared to handle the surge in demand during Diwali. Peak shortage fell to just 62 MW on Diwali 2020, considerably lower than the shortage during the earlier years.
This was possible on the back of improved coal availability and more generation capacity available in 2020.
There were 132 thermal power plants in the country with an installed generation capacity of 1,59,376 MW on October 27, 2019 (Diwali 2019). These plants had an average of 11 days of coal stock with them. But on November 14, 2020, there were 136 thermal power projects with an installed capacity of 1,63,326 MW. The coal stock position had improved to 20 days on Diwali 2020.