Karnataka: Power consumption back to near normal

If power consumption is anything to go by, economic activity in Karnataka appears to be ‘near normal’ as power consumption in the state is at its highest since the pandemic-induced nationwide lockdown.

Demand was at 11,398 mega watts (MW) on Wednesday, almost the same level as in February 2020, just prior to the lockdown. But electricity supply companies (Escoms) say there is a gap of 5 per cent to 8 per cent in high tension (HT) consumers (bulk power purchasers) compared to pre-Covid days, suggesting a lag in industrial power consumption.

“But this gap is likely to close in the next couple of months,” said MB Rajesh Gowda, managing director, Bescom.

National data also suggests Karnataka’s lag in power consumption is -3.5 per cent compared to last year and Karnataka Power Corporation Limited Karnataka Power Corporation Limited (KPCL) believes demand and supply of power strongly suggest the pace of economic revival has picked up in the state.

“However, we are still not seeing that spike in industrial need for power. Demand from that sector continues to be flat,” said V Ponnuraj, managing director, KPCL.

Sources say consumption is higher on the domestic users’ side rather than by industrial units. “This is a trend which will continue over for some months as people are still working from home and companies are operating on shift basis and at 50 per cent staff,” said an energy department official.

However, senior bureaucrats dismissed that theory saying Karnataka has generated extra power and consumption is actually on par to last year’s levels.

ET Energy world
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